London Tops the List of Most Desirable Financial Services FDI Destinations

The City is still an attractive proposition for international investment.

London Tops the List of Most Desirable Financial Services FDI Destinations

UK’s capital is still number one for global investors when it comes to financial services FDI

International financial services investors are confident in London despite Brexit, as the latest City of London research shows.

This week the City of London Corporation published a report on FDI in the UK: Global investment: driving UK jobs and growth in financial services.

The key message of the report is clear: so far international investors have been ignoring Brexit and keeping on investing in UK’s financial services.

Indeed, despite all the Brexit ado, the UK still holds its position as a global financial centre and acts as a magnet for financial services FDI.

Between 2013 and 2017, the UK received 392 inbound FDI projects, with overseas investors investing £8.6 billion4 and creating an estimated 16,126 jobs.

The UK is the leading destination country for FS FDI projects from the United States, Sweden and China, with the UK accounting for 15%, 47% and 15% of their total global FS FDI projects.

The UK is also the second largest destination market for Switzerland, France and India, and the third largest destination for investment from Spain, Germany, Australia and Canada.

London is, of course, the main destination for global investors and plays a key role in attracting FS FDI into the UK. Compared to eight other global financial centres, London received the highest volume of FS FDI projects in 2017 and between 2013-2017, emphasising its position as the number one location for FS FDI.

According to the report, only last year London secured 55 inbound FDI projects in financial services, while Dublin and Paris received 26 each, Frankfurt – 24, and New York – 20.

Besides, the expected exodus of financial services from London hasn’t happened yet, although many banks, insurers and asset managers have opened offices in Paris, Frankfurt, Dublin, Luxembourg and Amsterdam to secure post-Brexit future.

It seems also that regardless of the Brexit perceived threats, businesses inside and outside of the EU still view London as the leading financial hub.

Among those financial services companies who moved to London between 2013-2017 to establish their presence in the UK there are both non-European and European businesses that view London as a perfect base to reach their clients and grow business.

“London is a global leader in financial markets and business excellence and we believe our presence here will significantly enhance our offering to both our Asian and international client base…London will always be the HQ for Asian investors, especially the Chinese, who see it as a platform for Europe. This is unlikely to change, regardless of how Europe comes to see London in the future.”

Claire Hoey, Managing Director Ion Pacific, London Office

Read the full report on