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Scottish cities rise in global ranking of financial centres

IFSD Glasgow
Glasgow has risen strongly in the ranking of financial centres (pic: Terry Murden)

Scotland has scored a notable new success after Glasgow and Edinburgh rose in a ranking of the world’s top financial services locations.

Glasgow jumped nine places to 42nd in the 35th edition of the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI35) while Edinburgh moved up one place to 33rd. 

The index measures the competitiveness of 121 financial centres around the world and serves as a valuable reference for policy and investment decision-makers.

China Development Institute (CDI) in Shenzhen and Z/Yen Partners in London collaborate in producing the GFCI. It is updated and published every March and September, and receives considerable attention from the global financial community.

London continues to lead in Western Europe and is in second place globally behind New York, with six Western European centres featuring in the top 20 in GFCI 35.

Although the average rating increase across this region was only 0.9%, Reykjavik, Jersey, Glasgow, and Lugano gained significant ground in comparison with GFCI 34.

Financial and related professional services are the largest contributor to the Scottish economy, adding around £14.3billion gross value added(GVA) annually.

The industry directly employs around 136,000 people north of the border, with many thousands more in the supply chain, and with salaries a third higher than the average wage in Scotland. 

The SNP’s Ivan McKee said: “The impressive rankings are testament to the work and engagement of businesses and organisations across Glasgow and Edinburgh, and the wider financial services industry.

“The recently launched Financial Services Growth Strategy highlighted key milestones and goals for measuring our growth within Scotland and this index forms part of these measures.”

Private equity shortfall

While Scotland rises up the overall rankings, the data also shows a gulf in private equity distribution between London and the rest of the UK.

The UK remains a hub for European venture capital, accounting for 40% of the total raised across the continent in 2022.

London accounted for 56.3% of total invested, followed by the East Midlands (13.8%), the South East (6.9%), and the West Midlands (5.6%). Scotland received just 2.2%.

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