The UK remains Europe’s most attractive destination for foreign investors in the financial services, according to a new EY survey.
With 56 projects in 2020, the UK edged out France to the top spot, who managed 49.
In contrast to the overall European trend of falling financial services FDI projects, France saw its number of investment projects increase by 11.
In 2019, the UK recorded 99 projects, more than double the financial services projects than second placed country, Germany, which registered 43.
EY says investors see the UK as the most attractive European location for future FS FDI
as markets and economies across the globe start to recover from the economic effects of COVID-19.
Investor sentiment is reported to suggest that the UK is expected to continue outperforming the rest of Europe in attracting financial services investment.
In a survey of global investors, the UK came out as the European country with the most investment friendly COVID-19 recovery plan, backed by 48% of respondents.
Half of global investors said they plan to establish or extend operations in the UK over the next year, up dramatically from 10% in September 2020 and an increase on the 45% recorded in April 2020.
In addition, over half of those surveyed said their investment plans in the UK were going ahead as normal despite COVID-19, including 6% who plan to increase in their investment.
Of the 31% who said they were planning a decrease, the vast majority said it would only be a small cutback.
Anna Anthony, UK Financial Services Managing Partner at EY, said, “The UK has consistently been the number one location for international financial services investment since EY started tracking FDI levels and market attractiveness over twenty years ago.
“While its lead may have narrowed in 2020, most likely only short-term in response to pandemic-related business disruption and Brexit, investor sentiment suggests that the UK is looking to a strong future, and will continue to outperform the rest of Europe in attracting post-COVID 19 financial services investment.
“Investors have consistently been drawn to the strength and resilience of the City, its deep capital markets, gold-plated regulatory system and for the innovation and talent it offers. Despite the challenges of the last few years, the evidence points to this not only continuing, but growing in strength, ensuring the UK remains a world leading financial services centre.”