The New Statesman
Treasury minister: forget the stereotypes – the City has a vital role to play

Positive impact of the financial sector on society and the economy in the UK

Andrew Griffith, Economic Secretary to the UK Treasury, writes in The New Statesman magazine an article in favour of the UK financial sector due to its positive impact on society. Not only for its contribution to the economy, which is essential to maintain well-funded public services, but also because financial activity in itself helps to cover risks that could otherwise cause serious harm to individuals if they materialise (e.g. home insurance premiums), and offers credit, savings, investment or payment solutions to all income levels and institutions, promoting the development of personal and business projects and positively impacting on social wellbeing.

  • The financial services sector plays a crucial role in the proper functioning of public services through its contribution to economic development. Directly or indirectly, the sector's contribution to the economy amounts to 12% of GDP, which is an essential contribution to the public revenue needed to develop public services (according to the article, the sector's contribution could be equivalent to half of the budget allocated to the National Health Service).

  • Financial services are for everyone. It is not a question of wealth. Financial services also benefit those with "modest" incomes, despite the widespread belief that this is not the case. For example, the financial sector has historically contributed to risk sharing, since the Great Fire of London in 1666, after which insurance policies and premium payments were born. But also, by offering solutions to families and businesses to develop projects that benefit society as a whole.

  • The financial sector´s success is vital for the economy. Many countries are competing to reach the leading position achieved by the UK. Ongoing legislative reforms will deliver improvements for investors, savers and pensioners but also aim to maintain that leading position. For Andy Griffith, the UK government's vision is to keep the UK as the place where the world comes to do Business.

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