Policy Papers

The significance of the SME sector in the UK Financial Services industry

The SME sector remains a vital component of the UK financial services sector employing over 350,000 people.

Based on analysis using IMAS-insight, IMAS estimates that the SME sector employs over 350,000 people across a range of organisation sizes including 50-250 employees (c. 30%) and 10-50 employees (c. 15%).

The estimate is based on data from the FSA Register for FSA Approved Persons where employee data is not available, as well as statistical averages where no company employee or Approved Person data is publically available.

The SME financial services sector in asset management has demonstrated strong resilience through the downturn

Within the asset management sector (fund managers and private client wealth managers), the SME sector has consistently grown its share of employment of FSA Approved Persons since 2007 to over 45% of the market.

In addition, the SME sector has shown greater resilience through the downturn compared to the Large Cap sector. The SME sector demonstrated both higher growth than the Large Cap sector in 2008 & 2009 as well as a lower contraction than Large Cap in 2010.

The SME sector has grown female employment of FSA Approved Persons in the downturn against falls in the Large Cap sector

In the 2007 to 2009 period, the SME sector grew female FSA Approved Persons by 16%, compared to falls of 5% in the Large Cap sector.

This has also enabled the SME sector to steadily grow its female mix of FSA Approved Persons from 13.4% in 2007 to 13.8% in 2009.