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Government showcases financial services hotspot

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08 Feb 2016

The Northern Powerhouse Minister, James Wharton today 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, which has showcased the Yorkshire region as a Financial Centre of Excellence. The Minister will attend a similar event in Manchester later this month.

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

The growing financial services industry in the Northern Powerhouse boasts more than 400,000 jobs and Leeds is undoubtedly the nation’s second financial capital.

In 2012 alone, such companies across the Leeds and Sheffield city regions contributed £14.06 billion to the UK economy.

Several 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.

Northern Powerhouse Minister James 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.”

Roger Marsh, Chair of Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership said:

“I’m delighted to see that the North is being recognised as a financial centre of excellence; I feel my colleagues within the financial services industry are discovering what I’ve known for the whole of my career, Leeds and Sheffield City Region’s and the wider Northern Powerhouse are home to fantastic businesses conducting world class work.

“At the Local Enterprise Partnership we’re keen to showcase that Leeds City Region is home to industry leaders such as specialist software firm BJSS, which can claim that six in every 10 foreign exchange transactions worldwide take place on software it has created; and we welcome Mr Wharton’s challenge to the industry. I’m confident to say that for the financial services industry, investing in Leeds City Region today will ensure it’s is ready for tomorrow!”

John Tracy, CEO, TD Bank Group and Head of TD Wealth International, which hosted the UKTI event, said:

“Choosing Leeds as the location for our European HQ enables us to grow our business in Europe while also delivering value for Money. In this region we have access to a large pool of talent, at a lower cost base than London, with the unique mix of digital and financial skills we require.”