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It was 4 years ago, we set up our Leeds office to service our growing number of clients in the north of England and to complement our regional offices in Edinburgh, London and Bristol. To date, I am pleased to report that things have gone well with an increasing demand for the provision of high quality resource solutions both permanent and interim within the Financial Services sector - something we pride ourselves on at ea Change Group.Whilst the dust hasn't officially settled post Brexit, current trends in the north indicate that the demand for talented individuals continues to grow apace.

Why.........

According to HMRC "Leeds is the UK's fastest growing city in the country and is the main driver of a city region with a £62.5 billion economy, a combined population of 3 million and a workforce of 1.37 million. It is the largest centre outside London for financial and business services and over the next ten years, the economy is forecast to grow by 25% with financial and business services set to generate over half of GVA (gross value added) growth over that period"

Both finance and business services account for 38% of total output and Leeds has one of the most diverse economies of the all the UK's main employment centres and has seen the fastest rate of private sector jobs growth of any UK city. That coupled with the fact that Leeds is one of the UK's foremost centres for fast growing firms, behind only London and Cambridge, explains why more and more companies are relocating to the area.

Leeds City Region was recently named a 'Financial Centre of Excellence' by UKTI. This accolade recognises the strength of its financial cluster and contribution to the economy.As a growing regional centre for the financial services sector, the impact of that growth and the demand for skills and talent is set to continue.

Notably, as the UK's second centre for banking, 13,000 people are employed in the sector outstripping Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham. Thirty national and international banks are already based here, including the Bank of England's only note issuing centre outside of London. They sit alongside 150 accountancy firms, including major presence from the Big 4 - PWC, Deloitte, KPMG and EY. Leeds City Region is also recognised as the home of the building society, with three of the five largest UK building societies headquartered here.

Yorkshire, Skipton and Leeds building societies all have a significant workforce, and together manage combined assets of £60 billion. Nationwide, the world's largest building society, also has a significant presence in Leeds City Region, hosting its customer service and processing operations here.

Recent Investments.......

Swedish bank, Handelsbanken has their regional office in Leeds, serving a network of over 32 branches across Yorkshire and the North East. HSBC has invested £12 million in brand new office space at White Rose Office Park as a base for the 700 staff of their specialist mortgage division. As the banking environment changes to meet the developing demands of customers, and responds to new regulatory controls, Leeds City Region has the infrastructure, skills and business ecosystem needed to support innovation and product development in financial services.

Located at the heart of the UK with excellent transport links to the rest of the country as well as further afield, Leeds connectivity is set to continue improving with major investment coming in the form of the high-speed railway HS2 and HS3. A sure sign that the government recognises the importance Leeds City Region has to play in the country's continued economic growth.

So where does ea Change Group fit in.....

With over 19 year's specialist recruitment expertise in Financial Services and Business Change, ea Change Group understands that organisations are continually evolving and recognise the importance of securing talented individuals, both permanent and interim, to manage change, deliver strategic objectives and achieve growth and success.

With both a Permanent and Interim division, we are known and respected for our professionalism, flexibility and for listening and understanding. Time after time we succeed where others fail - in short, we deliver great people!

Lorraine Robertson

Divisional Director