UKTI published a report today (14 July) positioning the South West as one of the UK’s leading investment destinations for the financial services sector at an event hosted by the Bank of Ireland UK who recently expanded their operation in Bristol.
The report highlights the region’s strengths and reputation for attracting major financial and professional services firms such as RBS who’ve had a presence in the region for almost 30 years, but also for its growing fintech and cyber security expertise which plays a major role in positioning the UK as a world leader in the field.
Stephen Robertson, Chair of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “We are very pleased that the region’s financial services sector has been identified as a leading destination for global investment and a key driver of the UK economy – major players have chosen to position their headquarters here including Triodos Bank, Hargreaves Lansdown, Bank of Ireland UK and Lloyds Bank, to new innovative companies such as MMI Holdings which operates a 120-person fintech lab in Bristol.
Companies come here because we have access to the right skills, infrastructure and business networks, and this report offers a great platform to build our reputation further in key international markets.”
Jonathan Workman, Head of Service & Operations at Bank of Ireland UK, who hosted the event today, said: “Bank of Ireland UK was proud to host today’s event and to support UKTI’s efforts to highlight the potential for financial services in the region. We ourselves have increased our presence in Bristol by 30% in the last 18 months and around 40% of our total UK workforce is based here. The South West is a great place to do business. It has skilled people, a strong professional services sector and the infrastructure we need to support our continued growth.”
A view that was supported by TheCityUK, a membership body that champions UK-based financial and related professional services.
Chris Cummings, Chief Executive, TheCityUK, said, “Bristol and the South West has a thriving financial and related professional services industry. In Bristol alone, it employs around 35,500 people, and across the region over 162,000 people work in the industry. To ensure regional financial centres like the South West continue to succeed, we must ensure the on-going attractiveness of the UK as a place to do business. While international firms may establish their headquarters in London, many look for opportunities to expand their operations across the UK, deepening the talent pool of skilled workers and further strengthening regional hubs.”
The South West’s financial service industry at a glance:
- 162,000 people work in financial and professional services in the South West
- Bristol & Bath has over 20,000 graduates from four universities, enabling companies to recruit world-class economists, entrepreneurs and business and law students
- This region was ranked top for productivity in the UK by TechNation 2016
- Office and salary costs are 25-30% less than in London
- The South West is consistently voted the UK’s best place to live