Business

Belfast forecast to be number two city in the UK for financial services investment by 2025

Citi employs over 2,000 staff in in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter
Gareth McKeown

BELFAST is forecast to become the UK's second fastest-growing financial services behind London by 2025 according to a new report.

The authors of the research from TheCityUK and PwC believe Belfast could become one of the leading centres for financial services, growing by 25 per cent over the next eight years as part of an industry creating an extra £16 billion by 2025.

The authors say that 70 per cent of new revenue will be delivered outside London, with Northern Ireland behind only the north east of England in terms of estimated growth.

According to the report 'A vision for a transformed, world-leading industry' , the financial services sector currently employs over two million people across the UK, with around two-thirds based outside London.

It highlights examples of firms embracing the potential of regionalisation, with over 2,000 Citigroup staff now located in Belfast's Titanic Quarter and Newry's First Derivatives with over 1,200 employees.

Ian McConnell PwC Northern Ireland partner and financial services lead, said that technology is transforming the way the industry does business and will generate new opportunities in areas like Belfast.

“London will remain a premier location, but the emerging jewels in the crown by 2025 will be regional financial centres outside London."

“Belfast's advantages include availability of skilled labour, proximity to London and its Dublin competitor, as well as world-class universities and a relatively low-cost of doing business. Post Brexit, Belfast will enjoy a unique position as part of the UK, but as geographically next-door to Ireland and the EU.

“That means we must concentrate on developing the necessary infrastructure, from high-speed broadband and rapid access to other centres, as well as investing in the technology skills that will provide a ready and available labour pool and aggressively marketing our attractions to global FS organisations.

“The prize is substantial - our estimates show the implementation of this strategy could add £43 billion to the overall UK economy – and Belfast can share in this prosperity.”

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