Business

Global accountancy firm to move into Danske Bank Belfast headquarters

Richard Gillan, Grant Thornton and Kevin Kingston, Danske Bank pictured outside the bank's headquarters in Belfast city centre. Picture by Kelvin Boyes/ Press Eye
Gareth McKeown

Global accountancy firm Grant Thornton is to become the first tenant housed within Danske Bank's landmark Belfast city centre headquarters.

The professional services firm will occupy the third floor of the listed building on Donegall Square West from November after the bank announced cost-cutting plans last year to let part of its expansive Belfast base.

The city centre headquarters was built in 1970 and became a listed building in 2016. When Grant Thornton move in it will be the first time Danske Bank has accommodated a tenant at its headquarters.

Danske Bank CEO Kevin Kingston has insisted the new letting agreement will not compromise on service.

"In the current prolonged low interest rate environment, banks across the UK are continuing to look at ways to reduce their cost bases. We have taken an innovative approach to this challenge, with a rationale of seeking to implement change that does not negatively impact our customers.

“We have a large portfolio of property assets and, as a prudent business, we need to make sure that they are utilised to the best advantage of the bank, our customers and our staff," he said.

Grant Thornton NI is currently based at Clarence Street West in Belfast and it is anticipated that over 100 staff will relocate to the new office.

Managing partner Richard Gillan said the move was in response to "remarkable growth" across all business streams.

"We’ve doubled our revenues and remain very optimistic about the future," he said.

“Our move to this iconic building on Donegall Square reflects that confidence, and will provide a fitting and professional environment that will help facilitate our continued expansion."

Danske Bank continues to seek a tenant for its vacant second floor at the city centre headquarters.

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