8th February 2016
Northern Powerhouse minister, James Wharton is calling on international financial services companies to “tap in to the wealth” of the North of England.
Speaking after attending an event in Leeds, he highlighted that despite London’s Square Mile being Europe’s undisputed financial hub, he asserted that most people employed by the sector in this country were based outside of the Capital.
He explained that the growing financial services industry in the Northern Powerhouse boasts more than 400,000 jobs.
According to the government, in 2012 companies across the Leeds and Sheffield city regions contributed more than £14bn to the UK economy.
Presently a number of key players in the sector are choosing to ‘near-shore’ their services, moving jobs both of out London and back to the UK from overseas.
Wharton noted that Bank of Merrill Lynch employs over 700 people at its office in Chester, its largest site outside of London in the whole of Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
In addition, PwC has expanded in Leeds, and now employs over 700 people in the city while specialist bank and asset manager Investec announced November 2015 that it will launch an investment banking operation in the North of England.
For its part, Barclays just announced just last month that it would be expanding its operations in Liverpool, creating 300 new jobs at its Liverpool call-centre.
Wharton urged that the financial services sector in the UK “goes far beyond London” and has a powerful presence in the North of England as well.
He said: “Knowing the talent the Northern Powerhouse has to offer, it is no surprise the world’s financial heavyweights want to play a part and recognise what its great cities and skilled workforces have to offer.
“We will continue to work with local leaders and the business community to make the region even more of a magnet to the financial services sector.”