In a speech to an event in Leeds on 6 February, Wharton noted that most people employed by the financial services sector are based out the financial capital – London’s square mile. The North alone hosted more than 400,000 financial services jobs.
A number of financial services firms have moved workers outside of London, the minister highlighted. The Bank of Merrill Lynch, for example, employs 700 people in its Chester office, it’s largest site outside London in the whole of its Europe, Middle East and Africa region. And in November, specialist bank and asset manager Investec announced that it planned to launch an operation in the North, while Barclays announced last month it will expand its operations in Liverpool with 300 new jobs at its call centre in the city.
“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 workforce have to offer,” said Wharton.
“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.”