Financial Services

Edinburgh is the UK's second largest financial centre, a major European centre for asset management and asset servicing and home to the global headquarters of The Royal Bank of Scotland and the UK headquarters of the UK Green Investment Bank.

Global Financial Centre

Edinburgh is the UK’s largest financial centre after London by both gross value added (£4.201 billion in 2014) and employment (34,800 people in 2015).

The sector is extremely diverse, with strong representation from banking, insurance and pensions, fund management and asset servicing. (More than 90% of all Scottish fund managers are based in the city region).

Edinburgh is one of the world's top fund management hubs and a major European centre for asset servicing. More than half of the world’s top 20 financial organisations have substantial operations in Scotland, with a critical mass of activity in and around Edinburgh.

A mature supply chain continues to attract new investors to the city. The sector is supported by a vibrant mix of legal services, accounting, human resources, project finance and software development companies.

Banking and Insurance & Pensions

We spoke to Virgin Money's Stephen Pearson to hear about the growth of the bank in Edinburgh.

Banking

Employs 21,000 people

Edinburgh is a major centre for both retail and commercial banking.

  • Over 30 banks have operations in the city
  • Home to the UK headquarters of retail banks Tesco Bank, Virgin Money and Sainsbury’s Bank. 
  • Home to the Bank of Scotland and Scottish Widows Bank (part of the Lloyds Banking Group).
  • Other banking operations based in the city include the merchant banks Noble Grossart and ES Noble, the Scottish Building Society and the private banks Adam & Company & Hampden and Co.

Insurance & Pensions

Employs around 8,000 people

Edinburgh has been at the forefront of life insurance since the creation of Scottish Widows in 1815.

  • The sector consists of large companies offering a wide range of products to customers around the world to small, independent companies focussed on the local market.
  • Three of the UK's leading insurance companies have their headquarters in Edinburgh - Standard Life, Scottish Widows and AEGON UK.
  • The Royal London Group, the UK's largest mutual life and pensions company also has significant operations in the city.

Asset Management & Asset Servicing

We spoke to Joint Senior Partner Andrew Telfer from asset managers Baillie Gifford about being based in Edinburgh.

Asset Management

Asset Management & Asset Servicing employs around 8,000 people

Scotland's capital is a leading international centre for institutional investment and a 'must visit' for corporate fund raising. Edinburgh's fund managers are among the most successful in the world, investing in all markets across all asset classes.

  • Over £500 billion of assets under management in the city.
  • The sector includes a mix of international firms such as Blackrock and Franklin Templeton Investments and indigenous companies such as Standard Life Investments, Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (now part of Aberdeen Asset Management), Baillie Gifford and Martin Currie.
  • Six of the largest fund managers in the world (as ranked by Towers Watson, 2013) have operations in Edinburgh.
  • Rathbone Brothers, Aberdeen Asset Management, F&C Asset Management and First State Investments all have offices in Edinburgh.

Asset Servicing

Edinburgh is a major international centre for asset servicing.

  • The world's 'big four' asset servicing firms - Bank of New York Mellon, Citi, JP Morgan Chase and State Street all have operatins in Edinburgh, one of just seven European cities to have all four represented.
  • Other custodians with a presence in the cityinclude HSBC Securities Services, RBC cees and Computershare.
  • Citi, JP Morgan Chase and State Street have each designated their Edinburgh operations as 'Centres of Excellence'

Fintech

Steve Tigar, chief executive of Money Dasboard tells us more about the ambitions of the Edinburgh-based fintech company.
Employs over 17,000 people (digital economy in Edinburgh, 2015)

Edinburgh’s rapidly growing FinTech sector builds upon the city’s expertise in financial services and wealth of digital talent.

  • Edinburgh is the UK's second largest financial services centre and has an exceptional digital sector. The city is home to key companies including KAL- the world’s leading supplier of software for automated teller machines and Avaloq - an international leader in integrated and comprehensive solutions for wealth management, universal and retail banks.
  • Access to talent, a culture of innovation and world-class university research provides the knowledge and skills needed to grow FinTech.  
  • Driving this growth is a close network of tech companies who provides access to advice and mentorship, excellent international connectivity, and the unrivalled quality of life which the city offers. 
Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU)
  • In 2015 Edinburgh signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Innovate Finance to help Edinburgh and London promote technology companies supplying new and innovative software products to the financial sector.  
  • Building on Edinburgh’s great strengths in financial services and digital innovation, the MoU  will promote the FinTech and wider financial services sector and expertise within Edinburgh.
  • Edinburgh provides a fertile environment for start-ups and is a leading location for international companies looking to further expansion in the FinTech sector. 

Discover more

  • We spoke to a number of leading financial services figures in Edinburgh to get their thoughts on doing business in Scotland's capital. Read our Financial Services Case Studies.

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Investor Support Team

City of Edinburgh Council

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