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R&D tax credits for the finance and insurance sector

We have seen an increase in the technological innovation which has become essential to this sector, which includes financial service activities such as insurance, reinsurance and pension funding activities, as well as other business activities to support financial services.




million in claim value


Average claim value

Source HMRC R&D tax credits statistics 2023

The statistics published by HMRC for 2021-22 are provisional and have been uplifted to include estimates for claims not yet received.

What qualifies as R&D in the finance and insurance sector?

The financial services industry has embraced technological enablement to streamline process and meet increasing expectations of the customers. Financial businesses handle transactions involving large sums of money, often within a complicated regulatory framework and data sensitivity.

We find qualifying R&D expenditure and IP development when financial businesses develop new operating systems or create new encryption or security techniques that don’t follow established methodologies. This sector has seen challenges of integrating new systems and apps with legacy systems.

This sector includes the following types of business.
  • Banks
  • Building societies
  • Insurance and reinsurance companies
  • Insurance agents and brokers
  • Fund management actiivites
  • Security and commodity contracts dealing activities

Yes, financial and insurance companies can claim under either scheme depending on their size and other deciding factors. Of the R&D tax relief claims made for 2021-2022 so far, 77% of them were under the SME scheme equating to 41% of the value claimed.

You can claim against certain costs on the project including

  • Employee costs including salaries, wages, Class 1 National Insurance contributions, pension fund contributions
  • Subcontractor costs

Yes, Financial and insurance companies that have already claimed R&D tax credits might find that they could claim even more by applying for Corporate Tax relief, under the Patent Box scheme. In 2021-2022, so far, claims have been negligible. But in the stats released in 2020 10 financial services companies made Patent Box claims but those claims totalled £350m. It is unlikely that their patents are related to mechanical and engineering technologies so we must be thinking that those patents are routed in software technologies.

Finance and insurance sector business


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