Net UK insurance exports reached a record £8.3bn in 2009 according to a new report.
Net exports of the UK financial sector fell by 17% in 2009 to £41.8bn from the 2008 peak, but still exceeded any previous year, according to the annual UK Financial Sector Net Exports report released today by The City UK: the new independent membership body promoting the UK financial and related professional services industry.
But whilst insurance net exports bucked the general downturn reaching a record £8.3bn, banks, securities dealers, fund managers and shipbrokers all experienced a drop in net exports. Despite this, banks remain the largest contributor, despite the fall in net exports from £31.0bn to £25.3bn.
The UK's financial services trade surplus reached $67.7bn in 2008 (the latest year for which comparisons are available), The City UK added, up from $65.7bn in 2007.
The UK surplus was about three times that of Luxembourg and Switzerland, which recorded the next largest surpluses of $23.5bn and $21.9bn respectively.
Germany, Ireland and the US also had surpluses in the region of $6bn to $9bn in 2008.
The City UK added some emerging economies, particularly China and Mexico, are major importers of financial services, particularly insurance, reflecting strong international demand for such services.
Both these countries have experienced a widening deficit in financial services over the past decade, particularly China where the deficit expanded from $2.4bn in 2000 to $11.4bn in 2008.
The biggest trade balance in insurance was the US where in 2008 it reached a $32.1bn deficit, compared to $13bn surplus in the UK, $0.3bn in Germany and $4.7bn in Switzerland.
Duncan McKenzie, senior manager economic research at The City UK, said: "Despite the impact of the global slowdown in 2009, the continuing importance of the financial sector is indicated by its £42bn net export contribution offsetting half of the £82bn trade deficit in goods."
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