Scotland as a financial hub

Key points:

  • Working in partnership through the Financial Services Advisory Board (FiSAB) to maintain and grow Scotland’s financial services sector
  • Supporting sector led initiatives such as the Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI) and the proposed Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence

Scotland is an established, successful financial hub and the financial services sector plays a significant role in Scotland’s economy – both in its own right as one of our most significant employers, with 84,000 employed directly in the sector, and also as a driver and supporter of wider economic activity across the country.

We will continue to work with the sector to attract new investment and jobs to Scotland, such as the recently announced Barclays expansion in Glasgow, supported by Scottish Enterprise, that will bring up to 2,500 jobs to Glasgow. Such investments will ensure that Scotland continues to be a major financial centre.

Barclays world-class campus takes shape in Glasgow

Glasgow’s financial services sector received a major boost after Barclays announced plans to develop a new 5000-person campus on the banks for the River Clyde.

Barclays operates in 40 countries across the world, and the development in Glasgow will sit alongside Whippany in New Jersey and Pune in India as part of a global strategy to create world-class facilities for the bank’s functions, technology and operations teams.

It is expected that once completed, the campus will be able to accommodate up to 2,500 additional roles, doubling Barclays’ current workforce in Scotland and making the bank one of Glasgow’s biggest commercial employers. At least 42 per cent of the new jobs will be high value, and at least 341 will be for disadvantaged workers or those who have a disability.

Paul Compton, chief operating officer at Barclays, said: “This new campus is a flagship project for the bank, which builds on Barclays’ long history in Scotland and clearly demonstrates our commitment to supporting the UK economy. This is a fantastic opportunity to deepen our close ties with local communities and academic institutions to attract and retain the very best talent. It will be somewhere that our colleagues are incredibly proud to work.”

The Financial Services Advisory Board (FISAB) is co- chaired by the First Minister and Scottish Financial Enterprise, and we are now forming a new Banking and Economy Forum – chaired by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, the Economy and Fair Work - to focus on the relationship between banking and the economy and the role of banking in Scotland.

We will build on our support for FinTech, though the newly-established FinTech Scotland, to support innovation and diversity in the sector, taking full advantage of Scotland’s strength and history in finance and technology. Proposals to develop a Global Open Finance Banking Centre of Excellence in Edinburgh, supported by FinTech Scotland, the University of Edinburgh and a broad spectrum of business and public sector partners is a prime example of how Scotland is seizing the opportunities offered by new technology and building on our well established strengths in financial services and technology.

Fintech brings together Scotland’s historic strengths in finance and the exciting new world of digital technology. We will Support FinTech Scotland in its role in developing Scotland’s fintech sector, working with partners in industry and academia to drive collaboration across Scotland.

To ensure that Scotland’s ecosystem supports future innovation in fintech, we will examine the treatment of crypto assets and related technologies in Scottish legislation.

Key resources:

Financial Services Advisory Board (FiSAB)

FinTech Scotland