UK exports of financial services to the EU reached an all-time high of £25.9bn in 2017, according to data released today by the Office for National Statistics.
A £3.5bn increase in the surplus on financial services was the largest driver of the UK’s services surplus last year.
By destination, Europe was the largest contributor to the improvement in the financial services trade balance, with a £26.5bn surplus accounting for £2.9bn of the headline gain. The record high on financial services exports to the EU was a key contributor, with exports up 7.2 per cent versus a year earlier compared with a drop of 10 per cent in imports.
The surplus on financial services accounted for £44.4bn out of the UK’s £111bn overall services surplus last year. Exports of financial services increased to a record high of £59.6bn, up 6.4 per cent versus a year earlier and accounting for 21.5 per cent of total services exports.
Financial services exports to China also showed a significant increase reaching £340mn (including insurance and pensions), a gain of 21 per cent versus 2016.
The contribution to the UK economy from financial services exports to the EU highlights the importance of the post-Brexit trading relationship. The government’s recent white paper laying out its proposed future trade regime with the EU saw a less favourable expanded equivalence approach for financial services, versus a free trade area for goods.