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Location, location, location

Penny Brooks

24th March 2015

HSBC have just announced that they are planning to move 1,000 jobs from London to Birmingham by 2019. This is part of their planning for the new regulations or 'ring-fencing' of banks' retail and business banking operations in the UK, to protect that part of the business from the riskier operations - this is the government intervention intended to prevent another financial crisis such as the one in 2008 which pitched us into to recession. The bank has to separate their business arms by 2019, and has decided to place their UK retail and business banking to a new 210,000 sq ft office to be built in Birmingham's Arena Central enterprise zone.

There will no doubt be plenty of articles in the coming days to allow students to analyse their decision, the reasons for it and its implications - perhaps the prospect of HS2 rail links between London and Birmingham have helped, perhaps its down to what HSBCs CEO says about Birmingham city council: "Birmingham city council has worked hard and significantly invested to make the city an attractive home for UK businesses and their employees.", perhaps it is influenced by the Budget containing measures for further infrastructure investments in the north of England. Or it may be a reflection of the Hong Kong multinational bank's history, with their expansion into UK retail banking back in 1992, when they took over the old Midland Bank, which was previously headquartered in Birmingham.

Penny Brooks

Formerly Head of Business and Economics and now Economics teacher, Business and Economics blogger and presenter for Tutor2u, and private tutor

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