The UK financial services industry

  • Recognised as a hub for international capital flows with close links to the Channel Islands
  • A premier financial city for banking, insurance, foreign exchange, bond trading, accounting and legal services
  • Home to the London Stock Exchange, AIM and SFM markets
  • Stable legal and regulatory environment with a common law system which is attractive to foreign business
  • Mature and sophisticated infrastructure  


Other basic facts:

Time zone

Greenwich Mean Time


Official language



National currency

Pound Sterling  (GBP)



Shelf company availabilityYes - however more economical to incorporate a company rather than purchase a shelf company
Time taken for incorporationOne (1) day. Subject to satisfactory completion of JTC’s client take-on process
Permitted currenciesAny
Standard currencyGBP
Minimum issued capitalOne (1)
Authorised capitalUsual is £1,000
Par / nominal valueOptional
MinimumOne (1)
Corporate directorsYes, if the body corporate acting as a director is registered under the Financial Conduct Authority to provide such services and does not itself have any corporate directors
Local director requirementsOptional
Location of meetingAnywhere
Minimum number of meetingsOne (1)
Publicly accessible recordsYes
MinimumOne (1)
Bearer sharesNot allowed
Corporate shareholdersAllowed
RequirementsMust be in England or Wales
Preparation of accountsYes
Audit requirementsYes, but for small company exemption
Filing of audited accountsYes
Publicly accessible recordsYes
Annual returnYes
Tax returnYes, CT 600 Corporation Tax return
Financial statementYes
Legal systemCommon Law
Corporate re-domiciliationYes, subject to approval of the Inland Revenue
Double taxation treaty accessYes
Exchange controlNo
TaxationCorporation tax (which includes Capital Gains Tax) is paid by UK Companies based upon accounts, which are submitted to the Inland Revenue and the Registrar of Companies at the end of the Company’s financial year. A company is free to choose its financial year-end. Companies pay corporation tax at a rate of 20%

The information in this document is not advice of any kind but general information only and should not be relied on as legal advice. Kensington Trust Group recommends seeking professional advice on legal or tax issues affecting you before relying on it. While Kensington Trust Group tries to ensure that the content of this document is accurate, adequate or complete, it does not represent or warrant, express or implied, its accuracy, correctness, completeness or use of any of the information. Kensington Trust Group does not assume legal liability for any loss suffered as a result of or in relation to the use of this document. To the extent permitted by law, Kensington Trust Group excludes any liability for negligence, for any loss, including indirect or consequential damages arising from or in relation to the use of this document.