MP meets business leaders to discuss Yorkshire’s growing importance as a financial centre

On Friday 17 May, Hilary Benn MP met with business leaders from across financial and related professional services to discuss the contribution the industry makes to Yorkshire and the Humber and how best to boost and broaden these benefits.

According to data from TheCityUK, the industry already contributes nearly 7.3% (8.16bn) of Yorkshire and the Humber’s total economic output and employs over 133,000 people in the region, 5.5% of total employment [1]. This rises to 17.4% of those in employment in Halifax, with 11.4% in Leeds, 7.5% in York and 7.4% in Sheffield.

Financial and related professional services overseas exports from Yorkshire and the Humber accounted for 46% of all service exports from the region in 2017, according to estimates from TheCityUK based on 2016 ONS data.

Chris Hearld, North Region Chairman and Leeds Office Senior Partner, KPMG and Leeds City Chair, TheCityUK, said,

This industry is enormously important to Yorkshire, employing a huge number of people across a diverse range of companies, including within a thriving FinTech community.

“Employment in the industry has grown over recent years and one of our key challenges is to ensure that we capitalise on these years of successive growth by ensuring that apprentices and graduates have genuine opportunities for progression locally and a promising career.

“It is really positive to hear that Hilary Benn MP shares a similar vision for the region and recognises the enhanced contribution our industry can make if we work with policymakers, the community and regulators.”

Hilary Benn MP, said,

Financial and professional services are hugely important to the economy of Leeds and of the region, and The City UK is doing a great job of promoting the industry.

“The uncertainty surrounding Brexit is a big issue for many businesses and we need to reach a decision as soon as possible.

“We also need much greater devolution of power and funding to Yorkshire so that we can take our own decisions on transport infrastructure and skills which are so important to the continued growth of the sector.”

KPMG hosted TheCityUK event at its Leeds office (1 Sovereign Square, Sovereign Street, Leeds, LS1 4DA).

The event forms part of TheCityUK’s activity across the regions and nations of the UK, which underline the contribution financial and related professional services make to local economies, catalyse change where needed and promote continued growth in financial centres across the country.