According to greenfield trend tracker fDi Markets, part of fDi Intelligence, overseas investment in financial services projects in the first two months of 2009 fell by 29% from the same period the previous year. fDi Markets tracked a total of 299 new investment projects globally in the first two months of 2008, compared with just 226 in the same period of 2009.

The US received the biggest proportion of worldwide investment in 2008, attracting more than a quarter of all global FDI into financial services. China, India and the UK followed with 8%, 7% and 6%, respectively, of the global share of financial services FDI.

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As the global financial crisis gained momentum, 2009 figures showed a shift in the top four recipient countries. Although the US retained the top spot with consistent investment of about a quarter of the global share, the UK moved into second place at 9% ,with China third at 6% and Spain in fourth place, relegating India to seventh place with only 2% of global financial services FDI.

Spain succeeded in rising up the ranking in 2009 by attracting investment from companies including Ecuador’s Grupo Financiero Banco del Pichinch, Morocco’s Banque Centrale Populaire and the UK’s Old Mutual.

If the downturn in financial services FDI continues throughout 2009, it will be the first year fDi Markets has recorded a fall in crossborder investment project numbers since it began monitoring the sector in 2003.