Almost the only major economic sector in which the UK is – without a doubt – the world leader, is financial and professional services.

And Wales is one of the fastest growing locations in the UK for financial services investment.

The City of London is the most intense concentration of capital on the planet. The great global centre – bigger than Wall St or Tokyo – for financial services. And it’s ninety minutes from Wales on the train.

Admiral Wales’ leading company

Which is one of the reasons the sector is growing so impressively here. We have always been strong in retail banking and general insurance. Admiral insurance, for instance – a Welsh company born and bred – is our second largest business of any kind, with a turnover of over £1 billion.

Asset finance and global players

But recent years have also seen impressive growth in asset finance, wealth management, life insurance and pensions and advisory services

Home-grown businesses  such as Admiral and Principality compete alongside major financial players such as Lloyds TSB, HSBC, RBS and Legal and General, whose largest UK office is in Cardiff.

Price comparison sites a specialism

Price comparison companies are also thriving here, including confused.com, moneysupermarket.com, and Newport based, gocompare.com, one of Wales’ most successful recent tech startups.

Concentration of Professional Services

And as the financial sector restructures and reinvents itself in the face of crisis, it turns, more than ever, to the professional services sector for help. In Wales that means KPMG, Deloitte, PWC, Morgan Cole, Eversheds, Geldards, Vertex and Target, to name a handful. Household names, even if not everybody understands the breadth of what they do.

Wales has a superfast broadband project in advance of the rest of the UK, a workforce which is almost 10% cheaper than the UK average, yet highly skilled, with 20,000 graduates a year in financial and professional services coming out of Welsh universities; and it’s on the doorstep of the world’s great financial centre. It’s no wonder that international financial and professional services investment finds its way here. That’s how markets work: money gets where it needs to be. And in the financial sector these days, that means Wales.