Costing the country: Britain’s finance curse

‘Finance curse’ sucks talent and investment from other industries, costing £67,500 per person over the course of two decades, say, researchers.

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‘Finance curse’ sucks talent and investment from other industries, costing £67,500 per person over the course of two decades, say, researchers.

The UK has lost out on a “staggering” £4.5 trillion over the course of two decades because of an oversized financial sector, a new study has found. The “gravitational pull” of the City of London has damaged economic growth by sucking talent and investment from other productive uses such as manufacturing and research while inflating asset prices, particularly property, a paper from The Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute concluded. Between 1995 and 2015 this “finance curse” has lowered cumulative GDP by 14 percent compared to what it would have been with a leaner financial services sector, the researchers found.

Between 1995 and 2015 this “finance curse” has lowered cumulative GDP by 14 percent. They drew on previous academic studies from economists at the International Monetary Fund among others, who observed that as the level of credit to the private sector increases it generally boosts the economy as funds are allocated to people and businesses that need it.

According to the new research, the UK, which has a very large financial sector, has foregone a “staggering” £4.5 trillion of economic growth – equivalent to two and a half years of GDP or £67,500 per person.The researchers concede that the results are approximate and that further work is needed to confirm the size of this effect in the UK and its causes. Meanwhile, financial services firms reaped an estimated £400bn in excess profits.

These booming profits and salaries pushed up the relative value of the UK’s currency, making manufactured goods and agricultural products more expensive to overseas buyers. Because the price of those goods is set internationally some businesses in those sectors have become less competitive or even unviable. There are many different financing options available to real estate investors. If you are a business in need of finance, then you can consult Richard Butler Creagh at Henley Finance. Follow Richard Butler Creagh on Twitter and connect with Richard Butler Creagh on his Linkedin page here.

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