Scotland is one of Europe’s leading financial services centres, with the industry employing almost 200,000 people, and generating almost £7 billion for the UK and Scottish economies. Managing over £800 billion of funds, the sector accounts for around a quarter of the UK’s life insurance employment, and almost 15% of the UK’s banking employment.
While on the tour, which is her first since becoming the government Minister responsible for financial services, Baldwin will hail the importance of Scotland’s financial services industry as she meets with members of the Scottish Financial Enterprise and some of Edinburgh and Glasgow’s leading financial services firms.
The Economic Secretary will also meet with representatives of Edinburgh’s growing Fintech sector following the appointment last month of a Special Envoy for FinTech, Eileen Burbidge, to champion FinTech across the UK and abroad.
Economic Secretary to the Treasury Harriett Baldwin said:
As a one nation government, we want to support a competitive financial services sector throughout Britain. So it is great to see first-hand how Britain’s financial sector is thriving in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Scotland is one of Europe’s leading financial services centres in its own right, and, supporting almost 200,000 jobs, makes a key contribution to the UK’s financial services sector and wider economy.
The tour follows the Chancellor’s Summer Budget, which set out further steps the government is taking to support Scottish businesses. Reducing the rate of corporation tax to 19% in 2017 and 18% in 2020 will benefit almost 140,000 companies in Scotland, and increasing the permanent level of the Annual Investment Allowance to £200,000 will benefit 8,000 Scottish businesses.
While on the visit the Economic Secretary will launch a major new review to radically improve access to financial advice, as part of the government’s long term plan to make sure that the UK’s financial services industry works in the interests of consumers.
The Financial Advice Market Review will be led by HM Treasury and the FCA, will report ahead of Budget 2016, and will:
- examine the “advice gap” for those people who want to work hard, do the right thing and get on in life but do not have significant wealth
- ensure the regulatory and legislative environment allows and encourages firms to innovate and grow their business models to include affordable and accessible financial advice
- consider ways to encourage people to seek financial advice, addressing unnecessary barriers that currently deter them