Industry Facts

Financial Services in Scotland

  • The second largest financial services cluster in the UK after London and a growing fintech hub

  • Biggest sectoral contributor to Scotland’s economy – £13 billion or 9.4% of GVA (Source: TheCityUK)

  • More than 160,000 people employed in financial and related professional services - nearly 6% of Scotland’s national employment (Source: TheCityUK)

  • Includes Banking; Fund Management; Insurance, Life Assurance and Pensions; Asset Servicing and Professional Services.
  • Accounts for 24 per cent of all UK employment in life assurance, and 13 per cent of all banking employment.
  • More than 2,000 financial services businesses, supported by 3,650 professional services firms (Source: Scottish Development International)

  • Scotland’s financial and professional services exports account for 40% of all Scottish services exports (Source: TheCityUK)

Historical Information

  • In Scotland three banks are permitted to issue banknotes - The Royal Bank of Scotland, Bank of Scotland (part of Lloyds Banking Group) and Clydesdale Bank.  This practice dates back as far as 1695.

  • In 1875 the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland was founded as a professional and educational body, making it the world's oldest professional body for practising bankers.

  • The insurance sector dates back to the early 1700s when the increase in international trade led to a requirement for marine insurance for many Scottish export and import companies.

  • The Investment Trust movement grew up in the 1870s as a vehicle for world-wide collective investment and was pioneered by a Scotsman, Robert Fleming of Dundee.  The primary investors were the owners of the Dundee based jute industry who wanted to invest their profits.  Although Robert Fleming's fame is somewhat overshadowed by his grandson Ian Fleming - the novelist and creator of James Bond.

  • Life Insurance was invented by two Scottish clergymen, Wallace and Webster, in 1748 with the Scottish Ministers Widows Fund.

  • Scotland is home to the oldest professional accounting body in the world. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) created in 1854.