Edinburgh is still financial powerhouse despite Brexit, say industry experts

Walter Clark, head of financial sector at Burness Paull, said Edinburgh is 'consolidating' its position as a leading finance hub. Picture: Jason Baxter
Walter Clark, head of financial sector at Burness Paull, said Edinburgh is 'consolidating' its position as a leading finance hub. Picture: Jason Baxter
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Edinburgh is holding its own as one of Europe’s most influential financial services hubs despite ongoing Brexit uncertainty, say industry experts.

Legal firm Burness Paull said recent deal activity in Scotland’s financial services sector is evidence of major transactions “not being held up by political ambiguity”.

It pointed to the announcement this week that 1825 – Standard Life Aberdeen’s financial planning arm – has taken over the £1.7 billion financial advisory business of Grant Thornton, the eighth deal as part of its ongoing strategic acquisition trail.

Burness Paull also cited Royal London’s recent disposal of its defined benefit pensions consulting business to XPS Group.

The law firm added that the fintech sector has seen a particular surge, among start-ups and more established businesses.

Walter Clark, head of financial sector at Burness Paull, said: “Businesses can’t afford to wait around for clarity where the environment is one of continual uncertainty. Most are cracking on with their strategic objectives, particularly in UK-centric businesses and also much further afield.

“Scotland’s long history in financial services, and Edinburgh consolidating its position as one of the world’s leading fintech hubs, means there’s considerable deal activity and further significant opportunities in the market, despite swirling geopolitical uncertainty.”