Business, Professional and Financial Services

The business professional and financial services sector is one of the region’s key areas of strength that creates and sustains high value jobs and businesses.

Business, Professional & Financial Services in our area

The Greater Birmingham and Solihull area has a strong and well-established history in Business, Professional and Financial services (BPFS), a youthful, diverse and expanding workforce, and a host of incubators and innovation centres. GBSLEP’s vision focuses on driving technology-led innovation, drawing on our centres of excellence in higher education institutions.

£27.8bn of the West Midlands Combined Authority’s (WMCA) GVA is attributed to the BPFS sector, which is 26.5% of the whole economy. This makes BPFS the largest sector in the WMCA area and the West Midlands as the UK’s largest regional banking and professional services cluster.

Birmingham is the only full-service UK offering outside London, with cutting-edge city centre office space in new developments across the region.

There are 354,600 jobs in the sector, which accounts for 19.2% and the largest sector for overall employment in the WMCA. In total, there are 41,865 BPFS businesses in the WMCA, accounting for 28.9% of all businesses in the area (WMCA State of the Region Report, 2020). Within this, the emerging ProfTech sector is an emerging cluster incorporating businesses and services creating the next generation of services.

There is also a growing FinTech ecosystem, with over 120 firms already operating within the West Midlands ecosystem, delivering an estimated GVA of £411.7 million per annum (or 6.2% of total UK FinTech GVA) [Whitecap, 2020].

OUR IMPACT (2020 / 2021) 
  • Launched SuperTech - the UK’s first dedicated ‘ProfTech’ supercluster creating a private-public partnership.
  • Successfully launched and delivered the Digit. Ally programme led by WM Innovation Alliance, supporting BPFS firms across WM with technology adoption to support transition to becoming data-driven services.
  • Over 15,000 students helped as part of an inspiration agenda programme for secondary schools, raising awareness of career opportunities in West Midland’s BPFS sector.
  • Recruited industry leaders to lead work across fintech, lawtech and proptech.

OUR YEAR AHEAD (2021 / 2022)

  • Continue to develop the ProfTech cluster and the SuperTech partnership to strengthen relationships with West Midlands universities and secure funding.
  • Engage with leading businesses to develop a Modern Services sector board and programme.
  • Continue to work with education and training providers at all levels to develop pathways and skills into BPFS / Modern Service careers.

West Midlands Local Industrial Strategy

The GBSLEP is the lead partner for the West Midlands for the Business Professional and Financial Services sector, as well as the Modern Services Major Market Opportunity due to their intrinsic interconnectivity. The action plan takes account of current sector needs, considers the evolving impact of Covid-19 pandemic as well as future thinking about the shape of the services economy in 2030 and actions that need to be taken to realise the opportunity.

Industry Engagement

The implementation of the Action Plan is being overseen by the new Modern Services Board (under appointment) and in relation to the ProfTech emerging cluster, the Industry Leadership group appointed following advertisements in summer 2020.

The Modern Services Board will be meeting quarterly and the Industry Leader group for Prof-Tech is actively involved on a weekly/ monthly basis leading workstreams to inform the development of the cluster and potential sustainable model for the West Midlands. contains members from a range of small, medium and large organisations, all based in the West Midlands and working within the low-carbon space.

If you are a BPFS business and would like bespoke business support, please visit the GBSLEP Growth Hub’s website.