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City is joint second in new ranking

Ships to insurance: Glasgow’s new economy

Glasgow financial district
Glasgow financial district: bringing jobs to the city

It was once renowned as one of the shipbuilding capitals of the world. Now Glasgow has been revealed as a major centre in the UK for the insurance and long-term savings industry.

The city that launched thousands of ships now employs 10,000 workers administering policies and handling queries for some of the biggest companies in the financial services sector.

Insurance and savings now employs 9% of the city’s workforce and contributes more than £1 billion to its economy.

Data commissioned by the Association of British Insurers (ABI), has shown for the first time the extent to which the sector powers the economies of cities across the UK through jobs and investment. 

Glasgow along with Manchester has the second highest concentration of insurance firms outside London.

The ABI says one reason for this has been a pipeline of recruits from local colleges and universities. Another is the presence of the Insurance and Actuarial Society of Glasgo

Huw Evans, director general of the ABI, said: “The insurance and long-term savings industry is proving itself to be a valuable business partner in Glasgow and throughout Scotland – supporting existing businesses and boosting new ventures.

“It’s also clear that Glasgow is of enormous value to firms, offering the perfect mix of location, infrastructure and talented workforce to help insurance businesses thrive.”

Regional head of public policy Alastair Ross, said:  “Edinburgh has a long established reputation for life assurance and long term savings, but this research shows just how important a centre Glasgow is for general insurance helping business across Scotland and the rest of the UK to manage their risks so they can expand and help to grow the economy.”

The Clyde shipyards once employed 70,000 workers and there were about 40 companies operating along the river at any one time. BAE Systems and the Jim McColl-owned Ferguson Shipbuilders are the only survivors.

Some of the financial services firms operating in Glasgow 

  • AIG Europe
  • Allianz
  • Aviva
  • AXA
  • Chubb
  • Direct Line Insurance Group
  • esure Insurance
  • Hiscox
  • MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings
  • NFU Mutual
  • Phoenix Group
  • Prudential
  • QBE
  • RSA
  • Royal London Group
  • Scottish Friendly Assurance Society
  • Zurich


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