FCA to Open Leeds Office with 100 New Jobs

"As a national regulator, it is vital we have a truly national footprint. That means having colleagues in all parts of the UK."

There’s nice news for the north with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) planning more than 100 new roles based in Leeds.

The FCA, which has its HQ in London, is opening an office in the city later this year and has signed a deal for premises at 6 Queen Street in the heart of its business district.

The regulator’s Digital Delivery Centre will be based there, alongside other key FCA business teams.

Nikhil Rathi, Chief Executive of the FCA, notes: “As a national regulator, it is vital we have a truly national footprint. That means having colleagues in all parts of the UK.”

Councillor James Lewis, leader of Leeds City Council, adds: “The city has financial, digital and tech sectors that are strong and resilient, with a population that is innovative, diverse and brimming with talent.”

It’s a fair point to make as in April eWeek UK looked at ‘Tech Companies in Leeds to Watch’ here. The city has plenty of talent and that feature focused on Answer Pay, BigChange, Hark, Panintelligence, RapidSpike, Tappit, Tred and TruNarrative.

In terms of the FCA’s announcement, William Hague, its Director of Change and Transformation, is leading the establishment of the office. His background includes working in central government, such as The Cabinet Office and HM Revenue and Customs.

  • Worth a look? Read about ‘Tech Companies in Leeds to Watch’ here

Phil Nixon has been appointed as Head of the Digital Delivery Centre. Nixon is joining the FCA in September. He has worked for the NHS and IBM.

The FCA has also previously committed to doubling the number of staff in its Edinburgh office to around 200 and increasing recruitment in data and technology.

The opening of the Leeds office was announced in the FCA’s Business Plan in July 2021 and follows the establishment of a small presence in Cardiff and Belfast.

The FCA naturally keeps a watchful eye on the tech sector, and will dish out the punishments if needed. As eWeek UK previously reported in April, QPay Europe was hit by a £2 million account forfeiture due to the dubious origin of some money.

In other news, and reported on last month, the regulator might have been thinking of John Sturges’ 1960 Western movie The Magnificent Seven as it brought in a new Chair and announced six directors. (It’s not battling bandits, but its staff.)

While it’s not great to end on a downer, the FCA has found itself in a struggle with staff members since the appointment of Rathi as chief executive in 2020, replacing Andrew Bailey, who became the governor of the Bank of England.

Rathi’s restructure of the FCA included abolishing bonuses, changes to the staff appraisal system, and plans to cut staff pension rights and lower pay for non-London staff. This has triggered staff strikes over pay and conditions this year.

Maybe the staff in Leeds will be a happier crew.

Antony Peyton
Antony Peyton
Antony Peyton is the Editor of eWeek UK. He has 18 years' journalism and writing experience. His career has taken him to China, Japan and the UK - covering tech, fintech and business. Follow on Twitter @TonyFintech.

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