The Bank of England (BoE) today announced its intention to create a northern headquarters in Leeds.

The Bank has had operations in the West Yorkshire city dating back to 1827, including a cash centre which is due to close in 2023 when the lease on the building expires.

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However the BoE has expressed its desire to establish a number of extra offices outside of London with the main one expected in Leeds where a Deputy Governor could be located and around 300 positions are expected to be created. The city’s central location, access to a strong talent pool and reputation as an important financial centre are believed to be key drivers of the decision.

Governor Andrew Bailey said: “Our mission at the Bank is to promote the good of the people of the United Kingdom by maintaining monetary and financial stability and to deliver that for the whole country.

“I made a commitment at my pre-appointment hearing before the Treasury Select Committee in March last year to look at how we can expand our staff presence across the UK beyond our existing Agency network.

“Working through a year of Covid has shown that we can function well virtually and, as the country begins to open up again, it is more important than ever to think about what our future working arrangements look like. This includes the options for working more remotely, and how we can gain better insights into the country and the people we serve.

“Having a greater proportion of our workforce located outside London and the South East will better enable us to support our mission.”

The bank is following in the footsteps of a number of government departments who this year have announced their intention to create regional headquarters. They include the Treasury (Darlington), Housing (Wolverhampton) and Transport (Birmingham).

Chief Operating Officer Jo Place, who is leading a review of the Bank’s geographical footprint, added: “We are the Central Bank of the UK and we are committed to how we can best serve, and represent, all the people in the UK. Our physical presence in locations across the country is a critical part of that.”

The Bank currently has 12 Agencies across the UK. These operate from a network of offices in Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Fareham, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and Nottingham.