The London business footprint - the evolving financial sector

The London Business Footprint is a series of reports that explore the central London office markets from a business perspective.

This is the second report in the series, focusing specifically on the financial sector. Despite the impact of the financial crisis, it continues to account for the largest share of office space in central London. However, beneath this top line figure, we identify some important trends within subsectors that show how the industry is changing and consider the implications for real estate.

How has London’s financial footprint evolved over the past ten years?

  • London’s mix of financial sector occupiers has become more diverse both in terms of business focus as well as type and location of office space
  • Despite banks’ share of office space shrinking, they are still the biggest occupier of the financial sector…
  • …and foreign banks have increased their presence in London
  • Insurance firms have seen a notable uplift in their footprint
  • The West End and Docklands have become more popular for financial firms
  • The financial sector has helped fuel new office development.

The report shows that London’s financial sector is evolving and will face some far-reaching changes over the coming years.  The space that financial businesses hold today is different to that of ten years ago and will continue to progress and adapt to the sector’s needs.  We use these findings to help outline our view of the main drivers for further change.

What are some of the drivers of change we expect over the next ten years?

  • Automation and technology will impact the way in which the sector works, and where it can work
  • Creating attractive working environments will become even more important in the battle to recruit the right talent 
  • Regulation and reforms in the industry will continue to affect all parts of the financial sector
  • The opening up of financial markets will bring further evolution to the London financial districts.
London Business Footprint - The evolving financial sector
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