Financial services firms still flocking to Britain

January 28th, 2013 Category: Building Management

Much has been made of Britain's status as a safe haven throughout the global financial crisis, with foreign investors apparently remaining keen to tie up their money in the country, despite economic headwinds from the eurozone and other key markets.

This seems to be particularly true in the financial services sector, as the UK is becoming more and more popular with firms that are based overseas.

Indeed, a new report by IMAS and UK Trade & Investment has predicted that within three years, 50 per cent of financial services companies in Britain that are worth at least £100 million will be foreign-owned – up from 46 per cent at the moment.

This should represent a key boost to the commercial property market in Britain, with more and more high-net worth occupiers looking to take on office space in key locations such as London, and seeking various managed services.

Lord Green, the trade minister, has welcomed the findings, telling the Telegraph they show Britain still has strong global appeal.

"The evidence also shows that we continue to attract investment from abroad and remain the number one destination for financial services investment in Europe," he commented.

Much of this interest is coming from the US, the report noted, while the presence of investors from Brazil, Russia, India and China – all prominent emerging markets – also looks to increase in the near future.

Olly Laughton-Scott, IMAS's founding partner, added that UK business is "extraordinarily open" to overseas investment at the moment.

He noted that the US is using Britain as its "springboard" into Europe and said it will place even more emphasis on the country in the future, as it is seeking to expand its interests.

Mr Laughton-Scott added that the increasing globalisation of many Asian nations is also playing to the UK's strengths and pointed out that China has been responsible for the most rapid increase in foreign investment in Britain over the last year.