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Scotland retains status with financial services investors

Glasgow IFSD

Glasgow is now in the top ten most attractive cities in Europe (pic: Terry Murden)

Scotland has retained its decade-long trend as the UK’s most attractive region for financial services foreign direct investment (FDI) outside of London.

Although the UK – and Europe as a whole – recorded fewer projects in 2020 than the year prior, the UK, supported by Scotland, continues to be the most attractive European market for global FDI.

The UK attracted 56 financial services (FS) projects in 2020, representing a 43%year on year fall, and resulting in the gap with the second largest recipient of investment – now France – narrowing.

Of the 56 projects, six were located in Scotland (two fewer than in 2019), according to EY’s latest UK Attractiveness Survey for Financial Services.

While the Scottish financial services market recorded a decline in FS projects in 2020, it was a smaller fall than that of the UK.

Edinburgh is the UK’s top city for total FDI outside London (in line with the data for overall inward investment). It recorded three FS projects in 2020 while Glasgow, now in the top ten most attractive cities in Europe (as per EY UK Attractiveness Survey), also recorded three FS projects.

Sandy Begbie, chief executive of Scottish Financial Enterprise, described the data as “extremely encouraging”.

He added: “We’re well placed to innovate and create a world-leading centre for fintech, responsible investment and green finance.”

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