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The UK Fintech Scene Is Ranked as the Top Destination for Foreign Direct Investment by New Study

Despite the pandemic, economic downturn and Brexit, the UK continues to rule first place for investments into financial and professional services.

This is according to a new report from the City of London Corporation, whose insight delves into why the island, and especially its capital city London, continue to draw in top levels of investment over other financial centres in the world.

In 2021, 169 foreign companies invested £1.1billion ($1.26billion) into the UK’s financial services sector, being spread around 189 different projects.

In terms of foreign direct investment (FDI) into the financial and professional services (FPS), the UK came first in Europe for attracting the largest number of projects; beaten only globally by the US.

London alone received over half of the incoming investments, with £600million going into 114 projects. This means that, according to the report, there are 75 remains projects happening outside of the capital.

Where are these 75 projects happening exactly? The data shows that outside of London, Manchester, Belfast, Edinburgh and Birmingham are the main hubs of tech operation; listed in that order.

The largest FPS investments coming to the UK came from companies in the US and North America (42 per cent), followed by Western Europe (31 per cent), and the Asia-Pacific (17 per cent).

The report also emphasises that whilst these regions produced the most prolific investors, four out of the 10 largest investing companies in 2021 came from Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East.

Aside from its access to international workforces and global markets, the report states that the UK continues to be viewed as a highly-attracted investment opportunity due to its availability of capital, research and development resources and stable regulatory framework.

When considering the UK’s financial resources, and especially in regards to the projects that these resources produce, the report found that the country’s thriving and seemingly unstoppable fintech scene accounted for one third.

The data also considers the importance of fintechs externally. In 2021, 32 per cent of the demographic of foreign investors were from a fintech. The next two largest pools of foreign investors came from IT services and investment consultants; weighing in at 15 per cent each.

A fresh face

The report considers the UK’s comeback from Covid. Although the number of greenfield FDI projects dropped by 30 per cent at the height of the pandemic, 2022 saw an eight per cent rise in the number of projects, with a 66 per cent increase in the value of investments.

Job creation within the fintech industry also looked to be promising. Before the pandemic, the average project would create around 29 jobs, whereas in 2021, the number of jobs being created shot up to 44. Before the pandemic, the average project backed a total investment of £4.5million, but today, projects draw in around £5.8million each.

The report advocated that investments and their investors have remained resilient against the odds of the pandemic and that now, they’re more interested in expansion plans and are therefore happy to have deeper pockets.

See the full report here.


  • Tyler is a fintech journalist with specific interests in online banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.

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