Bank of London has selected capital for its ‘centre of excellence’
A TECHNOLOGY company whose bosses include former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Peter Mandelson is opening in Belfast, calling it “the UK’s gateway city to the EU”.
The Belfast Telegraph can reveal that The Bank of London, described as the world’s first purpose-built global clearing, agency and transaction bank, as well as a technology company, is creating 232 new jobs at a ‘centre of excellence’.
Its founder and chief executive, Anthony Watson, described Belfast as “the UK’s gateway city to the EU,” implying that Northern Ireland’s dual market access to the EU and UK under the NI Protocol is a major selling point.
Lord Mandelson, deputy group chairperson and senior independent non-executive director of The Bank of London, said: “During my time as Her Majesty’s Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, I got to work with people from all faiths and backgrounds.
“The people of Northern Ireland left an indelible impression on me and I’m delighted that our firm has selected Belfast for its centre of excellence.”
The business has already set up shop in temporary offices in Arthur Street, Belfast, but confirmed it’s in negotiations to secure more permanent space.
It has already hired 34 people, including payment leaders, software engineers and workers in operations. Another 54 roles are being advertised, including a job as a ‘full-stack engineer’, the vacancy for which is currently posted on LinkedIn.
In total, the company said it intends to hire 232 people over the next four years and said it will have a hybrid-working policy, based between the office and home.
The company said that when filled, the jobs are expected to generate annual salaries of £20m in total.
Mr Watson said: “To build the future of finance, we need to be where the future is. Belfast is now the UK’s gateway city to the EU and this, coupled with Belfast’s exceptional fintech talent across multiple disciplines, makes it the logical choice for The Bank of London’s centre of excellence to power our UK expansion.”
The company said Belfast brought access to “a strong and deep new talent pool, excellent academic institutions and a growing technology sector”.
“The Belfast office is an exciting opportunity to build on the successful expansion of other strategic locations and technology hubs in London and New York,” the Bank of London added.
This week, the UK Government unveiled its Northern Ireland Protocol Bill, which it intends to use to dismantle aspects of the agreement between the EU and UK intended to avoid a harder border on the island of Ireland following Brexit.
But business groups in Northern Ireland have warned that the unilateral action of the UK Government in presenting the bill is creating uncertainty.
Economists and experts in foreign direct investment have said that the protocol can open up opportunities for Northern Ireland.
The protocol is opposed by unionist parties, as they say it has undermined their British identity by introducing checks and customs on trade between Great Britain and NI.
Ballymena bus manufacturer Wrightbus this week announced a deal to provide 900 zero-emission buses to the Republic’s National Transport Authority.
Sinn Fein MLA Caoimhe Archibald said the deal showed the benefits of the protocol, while DUP MP Ian Paisley said the business was selling buses in the Republic before Brexit and even before the UK joined the European Communities in 1973.