Banking and Capital Markets

The world's centre for global banking

The UK's Offer

  • A truly global banking industry
  • The UK is the leading centre for international debt
  • The world's first choice for foreign exchange
  • The UK is home to one of the most international stock exchanges
  • The UK's trade surplus in financial services is greater than that of the next three leading net exporting countries combined.

World class banking expertise

From capital markets to retail banking and wealth management, the UK has a world-leading proposition. It benefits from the cluster effect in the City of London and draws on world-class expertise and capital raising capability.  In a truly international market, around half of UK bank balance sheets reflect international ownership.

It is an exciting time for the industry and a period of unprecedented change with new technologies having a transformational impact across the sector. At the cutting edge of data management, the shift of fintech into mainstream banking, the modernisation of core infrastructures, and the adoption of AI - the UK is at the forefront of the evolution of the sector. 

Download the factsheet

The world's global banking centre

Around 200 foreign banks are active in the UK, and there are more bank head offices in the City than anywhere else in the world. The UK is the world's leading centre for foreign exchange trading, with more dollars and euros traded in London than in the US and the Euro-area respectively.  

Read more at UK Finance

Forex for the world

The UK accounts for almost half of global foreign exchange trading. This is more than the next four largest centres - New York, Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo - combined.

icon representing the UK accounting for almost half of global foreign exchange trading, ahead of other international centres.

43%

of all global foreign exchange trading

2x

US dollars traded

More than twice the amount of US dollars are traded in the UK than traded on the US foreign exchange market

4x

Euros traded

Four times the amount of euros are traded in the UK than in all euro-area countries combined

Leading international banking and capital market services

The UK banking industry is truly global. For example, the UK is the largest offshore renminbi centre - accounting for 35% of offshore renminbi foreign exchange activities outside of Asia. 

The UK also ranks number one in Europe and first among non-Muslim-majority nations for Islamic finance. 

It’s no surprise that the UK is home to one of the most international stock exchanges, with the second-most foreign listings, after the US. 

£139bn

of international debt issuance in 2021

makes the UK the leading centre for international debt

43%

of global foreign exchange trading

more than any other centre in the world

15%

of the outstanding value of international bank lending

The UK is the world's largest centre for cross-border banking

London RMB Business Quarterly

The City of London Corporation RMB initiative is an industry-led group to discuss and explore ways to strengthen London RMB business.

Download the latest report

A future-ready banking system

The Bank of England has found the UK banking system to be resilient to more severe stress tests than the global financial crisis.  

The UK banking sector is a dynamic mix of large retail banks, challengers, and fintech. Changing consumer demands and technology are reshaping the retail banking sector. Challenger banks, fintech, and new market entrants are helping reimagine the sector’s retail propositions.

A new breed of customer is now demanding seamless digital delivery, excellence in customer service, and greater personalisation. The impact of technology will continue to grow. Automation and artificial intelligence will deliver increased cost savings and improved operating efficiency.

Partner story

CreditEnable

CreditEnable

Partner story

Hunit

Hunit

Partner Story

IPSX

IPSX

Partner story

Natwest Group

Natwest Group

World leading market infrastructure

The London Stock Exchange is one of the largest and most international globally, and AIM is the leading international growth market

World leading market infrastructure

Serving the world

Five fully Sharia compliant banks licensed in the UK, more than any other Western country.

Serving the world

"London is extremely important because it is an international hub not just for finance but increasingly also for tech and other industries."

Omar Majid, Director Salonica Group

"London is a magnet to companies and international banks seeking to sell their products and services across the EU – its role, global influence and diversity are unmatched by any other city. It is an excellent centre from which to expand our EMEA presence more broadly, and our interaction with North America."

Xinhan Xia, Chief Executive China International Capital Corporation

"London is the most important European centre of real estate trading and also the most important centre for the asset management industry. So the only place where our innovation could ever have been proven as a concept was here in the UK."

Roger Clarke, Managing Director and Head of Capital Markets IPSX

Everything you need

The UK offers you everything you need to grow your business.

We have a global outlook, which means we understand your business needs. The depth and breadth of our offer mean unparalleled opportunities for you to grow. Innovation is what we do - creating an inspirational ecosystem where you can thrive. 

Choose the UK