Yorkshire hailed as a powerhouse for financial services

Yorkshire hailed as a powerhouse for financial services

Some of the world’s leading financial firms are looking to Yorkshire to capitalise on a growing talent pool of skilled workers, according to Northern Powerhouse Minister, James Wharton.

Wharton last week challenged global financial services companies to tap in to the wealth of talent the region has to offer.

He was speaking after attending an event in Leeds promoted by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), which showcased the Yorkshire region as a financial centre of excellence.

Despite London’s square mile being undisputed as Europe’s financial capital, Wharton pointed out that most people employed by the sector in this country were in fact based outside of the capital.

The growing financial services industry in the Northern Powerhouse boasts more than 400,000 jobs and in 2012 alone, such companies contributed £14.06bn to the UK economy.

Wharton said: “The financial services sector in the UK goes far beyond London and has a powerful presence in the North of England as well.

“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.”

Giles Searby, partner at hlw Keeble Hawson LLP and chair of the Sheffield City Region LEP’s sector group for business, professional and financial services, added: "Yorkshire, as one of the leading financial centres outside London, is the location of choice for any business in the sector seeking a new base in the UK.

"In Yorkshire businesses benefit from a motivated and highly skilled workforce, a thriving professional community with some of the biggest names in the sector based here, and moreover a quality of life which altogether makes for a compelling case to move to the region."

Several key players in the sector are choosing to ‘near-shore’ their services, moving jobs both out of London and back to the UK from overseas.

These include:

  • PwC has expanded in Leeds, and now employs over 700 people in the city.
  • International specialist bank and asset manager Investec announced in November 2015 that they will launch an investment banking operation in the North of England.
  • Barclays announced just last month that it would be expanding its operations in Liverpool, creating 300 new jobs at its Liverpool call centre.
  • 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.