14.04.2015

More Banks Could Relocate to Birmingham

Before we start, can we please just stress this is not a prediction, nor is it a glimpse into any inside knowledge we might have. It is merely a hypothetical situation based on new legislation and logic.

As many of you will have seen, HSBC have announced their plan to move their HQ to the new Arena Central area of Birmingham and we can expect to welcome thousands of new neighbours in 2019. Great news, but why are they doing it?

Many of us have less than fond memories of the financial crisis and even more of us are still feeling the pinch of the recession, double-dip recession and the almost-triple-dip-recession that never actually happened.

Therefore, we have no doubt you’ll be delighted to hear that the people that can influence these things have taken steps to ensure we do not end up in such a financial crisis again…once we eventually get out of this one. One way they have done this is to, quite literally, split up the retail sections of banks from their investment counterparts.

So the banks now have to separate their personal and business banking activity from their, supposedly riskier, investment banking. To break it down metaphorically, two naughty school children got us into quite a lot of trouble when they were being watched by one teacher. So the school has separated them and put them in different rooms with two different teachers, so that there is a better chance of catching them if they decide to play up again. A simple answer to a complex problem but one we think could actually be very effective. After all, the best answer is often the simplest one.

Now for the hypothetical. HSBC are one huge bank in a country chocked full of them. Birmingham is improving every single year, in every way possible. The landscape is more aesthetically pleasing than it has ever been; the commercial offering is beyond anything we could have imagined 15 years ago and growing; the residential opportunities are both plenty and very attractive; the transport networks are going to be on par with any you’ll find in any super-city in the world and the level of investment coming into the city is hitting levels we’ve never seen before.

So our question is this, is HSBC’s decision a one-off? We have a funny feeling that they might not be the last major bank to look north and see a home for themselves in the cosmopolitan mega-city that Birmingham is quickly becoming and these new rules may see a number of large organisations making a seismic move, sooner rather than later.

Here’s hoping anyway.

#banking #Birmingham #crystalball

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