Biggest property deal in the city since 2002.
Global bank HSBC has today announced that it will be locating the national head office of its ring-fenced bank, which will serve its personal and business customers, in Birmingham city centre.
The move will involve relocating some 1,000 roles currently based in London to Birmingham from mid-2017 onwards. The creation of a ring-fenced bank is in response to the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013 and must be completed before 1 January 2019. HSBC’s decision to create the head office of its UK ring-fenced bank in Birmingham follows a review by the bank of a number of possible head office locations.
Antonio Simoes, Chief Executive Officer of HSBC UK, said: “We have been looking at options for the head office of our ring-fenced bank for some time. It became clear to us that Birmingham would be the right location. The city is close to London, but also brings us within easy reach of our 16 million customers based across the UK. Birmingham is a vibrant, growing city that has the expertise and infrastructure to support our ring-fenced bank and brings us a step closer to our ambition of being the bank of choice in the UK.”
The bank has been supported by Birmingham City Council and inward investment agency Marketing Birmingham – and its employees will continue to be assisted throughout the relocation process. Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council, commented: “HSBC joins a number of global companies that want to be a part of Birmingham’s accelerating growth and strong economic prospects.
“Birmingham is changing for the better. We are investing heavily in the city’s future, with major projects including the redevelopment of Birmingham New Street station due to complete this year and other transformational schemes now underway. A local network of public and private sector partners are forming entrepreneurial partnerships, sharing ideas and implementing ambitious plans for the future of the city.
“We look forward to welcoming the new head office of HSBC’s ring-fenced bank to Birmingham, and will continue to support and advise the bank as its plans move forward.”
HSBC already has close connections with Birmingham. Midland Bank, which was founded in the city in 1836, was acquired by HSBC in 1992.
The company is in advanced negotiations to conclude the acquisition of a 250 year lease on a new office comprising 210,000 sq ft at Arena Central. Arena Central is part of Birmingham’s Enterprise Zone within the city centre. It is the largest property deal to take place in Birmingham since 2002.
Legal documents are expected to be signed in the next few days and a reserved matters application for the new building has been submitted. Development of the site is anticipated to start by June 2015.
Meanwhile, Birmingham has the best real estate investment prospects in the UK – and is sixth in Europe – according to a report by PwC and the Urban Land Institute. Comem nting on today’s news, Andy Street, Chair of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP, said: “HSBC’s move to Birmingham will enable the bank to capitalise on all the benefits the city can offer. Supported by the Birmingham City Centre Enterprise Zone, we are ploughing new funding into the local area to boost its connectivity, skills and infrastructure.
“The economic revival of Greater Birmingham is gathering pace, led by highly valuable industries such as financial services. It underlines the city’s position as a UK business hub and a prime location for professionals building their careers. HSBC’s new head office at a site within Birmingham’s Enterprise Zone will provide a tangible reminder of the scale of investment we are now attracting into the region.”
HSBC will be joining a number of other international BPFS companies that have set up a base in Birmingham. German banking giant Deutsche Bank has drastically grown its operations in the city – while US architect Gensler and law firm Hogan Lovells, which is headquartered in London and the US, have also recently located in Birmingham.
A growing number of businesses are locating in Birmingham. The Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP area attracted a record 77 foreign direct investment projects in 2013/14, the highest on record and more than any other area. Birmingham welcomed more start-ups than any other city in 2014 – a total of 18,000 new companies
The city’s thriving business environment is also attracting an influx of young professionals to the city. Some 5,500 Londoners in their thirties moved to Birmingham last year alone – the highest of any regional city – and Birmingham is internationally recognised as having the best of quality of life of any UK city outside London.