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London as a financial centre

London is the one of the banking centres of the world and Europe’s main business centre. The headquarters of more than 100 of Europe’s 500 largest companies are in London. A quarter of the of the world’s largest financial companies have their European headquarters in London too.

Bank of England

The Bank of England, based in the City on Threadneedle Street, is the government's banker and is also the banker to the financial system more generally - the bankers' bank. From their website you can learn about the bank's relationship with the markets, banknotes, the Euro, monetary policy, the UK's foreign exchange and gold reserves.


The Bank of England used to regulate the financial markets before the government launched the Financial Services Authority (FSA) to take control of financial regulation. The FSA is an independent non-governmental body which was given its full powers in 2001.

The British Bankers' Association (BBA, the leading trade association in the UK banking and financial services industry, is based in London. Its members, as well as many associate members, fund its not-for-profit activities.


The most international of all stock exchanges, the London Stock Exchange has built on more than 200 years of integrity, expertise and market knowledge to become one of the world's foremost equity exchanges.

Maritime centre

London is the world's principal centre for a wide variety of maritime industries and rivals centres such as Hong Kong, Singapore, New York and Athens. The sector contributes around £1bn each year to Britain's invisible earnings.

Many international shipping organisations have their headquarters in London, including the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). The Baltic Exchange is the only established and self-regulated global market place for shipbrokers. It provides an online exchange for ships and cargoes, real time freight derivative trading and freight market data.

Lloyd's Marine Intelligence Unit provides immediate business critical information and serves the needs of the global shipping market by supplying a source of shipping data from any worldwide location.

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