The financial sector is the backbone of the British economy, critical support for all business operations. Banks, insurance, and financial services companies enable vital financial activities, payment or saving solutions, credit or capital availability, risk mitigation, and financial information accuracy.
The top British financial companies are involved in a diverse range of operations all along with the flows of money and capital in the economic cycle. Delivering high value-added financial products and services that provide large returns on investments, British financial companies also naturally face very stiff competition from both national and foreign actors of the financial sector.
The confrontation between the financial services companies, multiple types of banks, insurance companies, and broader financial actors who struggle for market share creates a shifting environment. Financial companies specialize, diversify and acquire others to reach higher returns, reduce their costs, better hedge their risks, and find safer investments.
However, besides the competition through the different financial verticals, and the confusion in European financial affairs brought by Brexit, a new, critical, and major threat facing the financial companies is the disruption of traditional by upcoming startups. Among the largest UK startups, some of the world’s top FinTech startups, and InsurTech startups are very serious menaces to traditional British financial companies.
As these startups reach a large portion of the market, they gain financial power and leverage from their customer base. Their power is generally recognized when they reached the status of “unicorn”, that is to say, a startup with a valuation above 1 billion dollars. Since these unicorns grow very fast, they bring along significant changes in the financial landscape and weigh heavily in the competition thanks to their envied up-and-coming status.
For now, the largest financial companies are still powerhouses of the UK economy, and, in spite of new challenges, they will most probably stay in this position in the coming years. Thanks to the traditional power of the United Kingdom in global financial affairs, British financial companies will continue to fight domestically, and leverage the advantage of their century-old expertise and networks to hold their ground and keep expanding their footprint in the rest of the world.
For more information on the largest British companies, download our FTSE 350 companies Excel file containing the complete list of the 350 largest publicly listed companies in the UK (FTSE 100 + FTSE 250), together with extensive business, market, financial, and digital information on each company. For even more data on the largest UK companies, download our Excel files on the FTSE All-Share companies (600 companies), FTSE AIM All-Share companies (700 companies), and combined FTSE All-Share companies + FTSE AIM All-Share companies (1300 companies).
List of the top 30 largest British financial companies by market capitalization
To give you a broader understanding of the actors of the financial sector in the UK, details about the twenty largest companies that make British finance, which are all included in the FTSE 100 index, have been listed hereafter. Each company is detailed with presentations of its industry, activities, market capitalization, a direct link to its website, logo, and stock symbol.
The financial companies listed hereafter are ranked by market capitalization in British Pounds, as of effective close on Friday, February 26, 2021. They are defined as belonging to specific industries of banking, insurance, or other financial services.
Note that if you are searching for information on these companies to invest in their stocks, make sure you know what you are doing as your investment will be subject to significant risks with the evolution of stock prices. To learn more about investing in the stock market and managing your portfolio, check our post on the best online courses on stock investing and trading.
Shortcuts to each financial company
To facilitate your browsing in this long list, here are quick links to go directly to the details of any of the top 20 British financial companies. Be sure to also check the Top 10 UK financial companies’ summary after the list!
Pershing Square Holdings is an investment trust. Focusing on long-term investments in North America, Pershing Square Holdings tracks the performance of the American hedge fund run by Bill Ackman, Pershing Square Capital Management.
Website: pershingsquareholdings.com – Market Cap.: £4.75 Billion – Stock ticker: PSH
M&G is an investment management company. Providing a number of savings and investment solutions, M&G is engaged through various funds in investing in and managing equities, fixed income assets, and properties, as well as a range of financial products including structured products, leveraged finance, project, and infrastructure finance. Tracing its origins to 1848, M&G is currently majority-owned by Prudential (see below).
Website: mandgplc.com – Market Cap.: £4.78 Billion – Stock ticker: MNG
St. James’s Place PLC, better known as St. James’s Place Wealth Management, is a private wealth management company. It provides a range of services in wealth management, including individual savings accounts, retirement plans, protection of wealth, intergenerational wealth management, as well as other financial services including banking and mortgages, business advice, and advice for individual customers.
Website: sjp.co.uk – Market Cap.: £6.32 Billion – Stock ticker: STJ
Standard Life Aberdeen PLC is a multinational investment company. It operates in asset management through its subsidiary Aberdeen Standard Investments with equities, multi-asset, fixed income, real estate, and private market funds. Tracing its roots to 1825, it now engaged in wealth management while the Standard Life insurance is operated by Phoenix Group.
Website: standardlifeaberdeen.com – Market Cap.: £6.78 Billion – Stock ticker: SLA
RSA Insurance Group PLC is a multinational general insurance company. Tracing its origins to 1710, RSA is involved in all segments of personal and commercial insurance for individuals, families, small businesses, and corporations. Providing its services directly, through subsidiaries or local partners in more than 100 countries, RSA is especially present in the UK, Scandinavia, Canada, Ireland, and the Middle East.
Website: rsagroup.com – Market Cap.: £6.99 Billion – Stock ticker: RSA
The Phoenix Group is an insurance company, primarily operating in life insurance. Providing life insurance products through its main subsidiary Phoenix Life, Phoenix Group also operates through four other subsidiaries, Phoenix Ireland, SunLife, Standard Life, and Pheonix Wealth which is involved in wealth management.
Website: thephoenixgroup.com – Market Cap.: £7.09 Billion – Stock ticker: PHNX
Hargreaves Lansdown PLC is a financial company specialized in investment management. It provides investment solutions for retail investors in the United Kingdom including individual savings accounts, self-invested personal pensions, funds and shares, and related financial products. Hargreaves Lansdown owns a number of equity and underlying funds through multi-manager unit trusts, and it also provides other financial services including advisory, stockbroking, annuity broking, and currency services.
Website: hl.co.uk – Market Cap.: £7.16 Billion – Stock ticker: HL.
Admiral Group PLC is an insurance company particularly involved in car insurance. Known through its brands, including Admiral, Elephant, Diamond, and Bell, Admiral Group is one of the largest car insurance providers in the UK, also operating in Spain, Italy, France, the USA, Mexico, Turkey, Canada, and India. Besides insurance businesses, Admiral Group also operates the price comparison websites Confused.com and Compare.com.
Website: admiralgroup.co.uk – Market Cap.: £9.16 Billion – Stock ticker: ADM
Schroders PLC is a multinational asset and wealth management company. It provides a wide range of investment solutions to individual and institutional clients including corporations, public organizations, charities, pension funds, high-net-worth individuals, and retail investors. Founded in 1804, Schroders now operates in more than 30 countries in Europe, America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
Website: schroders.com – Market Cap.: £9.21 Billion – Stock ticker: SDR
3i Group PLC is a multinational investment and management company. Tracing its origins to 1945, 3i is dedicated to investing in private equity and venture capital through mid-market buyouts, growth capital, and infrastructure, in the sectors of business and financial services, consumer, industrials, and energy, and healthcare. It notably holds positions in ACR Capital Reinsurance, Action (Dutch discount retailer), Audley Travel (tailor-made travel), Scandlines (ferry operator), Q Holding Co (medical devices, elastomeric components, engineering software), Weener Plastic Packaging Group, and Formel D (German car parts company).
Website: 3i.com – Market Cap.: £10.8 Billion – Stock ticker: III
Aviva PLC is a multinational insurance company. Tracing its origins to 1696, Aviva is a general insurance, life insurance, and pensions provider. The largest general insurer in the UK, Aviva is operating in 16 countries of Europe, North America, and Asia.
Website: aviva.com – Market Cap.: £14.2 Billion – Stock ticker: AV.
Standard Chartered PLC is a multinational banking and financial services company. Tracing its origins to the 19th century, Standard Chartered operates in consumer, corporate and institutional banking and treasury services in more than 70 countries.
Website: sc.com – Market Cap.: £14.6 Billion – Stock ticker: STAN
Legal & General Group PLC, more simply known as Legal & General, is a multinational financial services company. It is involved in investment management, lifetime mortgages, pensions, annuities, and life assurance. Tracing its origins to 1836, Legal & General now primarily operates in the United Kingdom and the United States, also engaged through its investment management activities in the Middle East, Europe, and Asia.
Website: legalandgeneralgroup.com – Market Cap.: £15.5 Billion – Stock ticker: LGEN
The Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust plc is an investment trust launched managed by Baillie Gifford & Co Limited since 1909. Flagship investment trust of its parent company, the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust aims at creating long term value by looking for strong businesses around the world that provide above-average returns.
Website: scottishmortgageit.com – Market Cap.: £18.1 Billion – Stock ticker: SMT
NatWest Group, standing for National Westminster, previously known as The Royal Bank of Scotland and RBS, is a private, and partly publicly-owned, banking, and insurance holding company. Tracing its origins to 1707, NatWest Group operates in Europe, North America, and Asia through multiple brands providing personal and business banking, private banking, insurance, and corporate finance, notably NatWest, The Royal Bank of Scotland, Ulster Bank, and Coutts.
Website: natwestgroup.com – Market Cap.: £22.3 Billion – Stock ticker: NWG
Lloyds Bank PLC is a retail and commercial bank. Evolved from the Bank of Scotland founded in 1695, Lloyds Banking Group has developed its activities primarily in England and Wales in retail banking, commercial banking, life, pensions and insurance, wealth management, and international operations in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
Website: lloydsbankinggroup.com – Market Cap.: £27.6 Billion – Stock ticker: LLOY
Barclays PLC is a British investment bank and financial services company. Tracing its origin to 1690, Barclays is primarily involved in investment banking with additional services in personal banking, corporate banking, wealth management, and investment management.
Website: home.barclays – Market Cap.: £27.7 Billion – Stock ticker: BARC
Prudential PLC is a multinational life insurance and financial services company. Founded in 1848, it has grown become a leading insurance and asset management provider in Asia with Prudential Corporation Asia, one of the largest life insurance providers in the United States with Jackson National Life Insurance Company, and a leading savings and investments business in the UK and Europe with M&G Prudential.
Website: prudentialplc.com – Market Cap.: £36.8 Billion – Stock ticker: PRU
The London Stock Exchange Group is a stock exchange and financial information company. Founded in 1801, it operates the main stock exchange of the United Kingdom, and the Italian stock exchange, Borsa Italiana. It is also involved in information technology through its Sri Lankan subsidiary MillenniumIT, and operates the stock indexes Russell Indexes and FTSE International, and has majority stakes in the clearinghouse LCH and electronic fixed income trading market MTS.
Website: lseg.com – Market Cap.: £44.6 Billion – Stock ticker: LSEG
HSBC Holdings PLC is a multinational banking and financial services company, dual-listed both in London and Hong Kong. Founded in Hong Kong and Shanghai in 1865, HSBC has grown to operate in more than 60 countries, with operations in commercial banking, investment banking, retail banking and wealth management, and global private banking.
Website: hsbc.com – Market Cap.: £86.8 Billion – Stock ticker: HSBA
To give you a quick overview of the largest British financial companies in 2021, here is a synthesizing image regrouping the information of the top 10. Note that you can use this image to embed it on your website and other digital properties using the embed code below.
<a href="https://disfold.com/top-uk-financial-companies/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><img src="https://disfold.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/top-10-uk-financial.jpg" alt="Top 10 UK Financial Companies 2021"></a>
Here are the 30 largest British financial companies. Do you think they are worth their market capitalization? Do they provide a valuable and convenient service? Do they have too much economic power… and maybe political power too?
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