SCOTLAND has retained its status as one of Europe’s leading financial centres and second largest financial hub in the UK.

Th financial and professional services sector employed 136,000 staff, representing 5.2% of total employment, and contributed £14.3 billion (9.6%) to the Scottish economy in 2021, according to a report from CityUK.

Edinburgh and Glasgow continue to be Scotland’s major industry hubs, employing 48,030 and 36,950 respectively.

In Edinburgh, the industry contributes almost 30% to the local economy and employs 13% of its workforce. In Glasgow, banking and insurance are the dominant sectors and together account for over 60% of the industry’s gross value added in the city. Aberdeen and Fife are also large industry employers.

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Sandy Begbie, CEO of Scottish Financial Enterprise, said: “The financial and related professional services industry is a significant contributor to our national economy, and it delivers real opportunity and prosperity for Scotland.

“We have distinctive strengths as a financial centre and over many years, the industry has proven itself to be resilient and innovative.

“There’s so much more potential to unlock. Our sector-led growth strategy is a key priority for SFE this year, working with both governments, TheCityUK, and other key bodies to foster a culture of ambition and innovation, and specific plans that will keep us at the cutting edge in the global financial landscape.”

The report, Enabling Growth Across the UK, provides the latest available data (2021) and analysis on the financial and related professional services industry's contribution to the UK's regions and nations.

It also provides policy recommendations for governments on how to further unleash the industry’s potential to drive growth across Scotland and the rest of the country. 

The report states Scotland has “significant potential” to make use of increased devolution it has relative to other parts of the UK to maximise growth for the industry and recommends leaders engage with business, develop plans to drive growth and be held accountable for their delivery.

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Miles Celic, CEO of TheCityUK, said“Financial and related professional services are an engine for growth and enabler for the wider economy.

“The industry’s continued strong contribution to Scotland’s economy and international financial stability underlines its status as a national success story.

“The growth in industry employment in Scotland over the past decade also reflects the significant investment made by firms and their commitment to building a strong pipeline of talent.

“But there is more that can be done to enable the industry to support faster growth across the country. By working together with governments, our industry can make an even greater contribution to national growth and prosperity.”