Belfast Telegraph

Bank of England could open new offices in major UK cities under Labour rule

Large parts of the Bank of England may be relocated to Birmingham if Labour wins power.

A report setting out considerations for the party's next general election manifesto recommended such a move as well as locating a new National Investment Bank in Britain's second biggest city.

Bank of England offices could also be set up in Glasgow, Cardiff and Belfast, with two smaller regional ones in Newcastle and Plymouth as part of a shake-up of the country's financial infrastructure aimed at ensuring more business investment is provided.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said: "This is important report drums home the message that our financial system isn't delivering enough investment across the whole country, and in the high-technology industries and firms of the future where it is needed most.

"Labour is committed to working with our financial institutions to help deliver the financing that the fourth industrial revolution will need, as part of its ambitious plans to help build a high-tech, high-wage economy that works for the many, not the few."

Graham Turner of GFC Economics, who provided the report, said more needed to be done to deal with geographic inequality.

"As a central bank sitting at the heart of the UK financial system, the Bank of England needs to be playing an active, leading role, ensuring banks are helping UK companies to innovate.

"Flow of funds analysis shows that banks are diverting resources away from industries vital to the future of this country.

"There is a risk that the disproportionate number of technology companies in London and the South East will increase, exacerbating regional inequality.

"Governments have a critical role in addressing these weaknesses, but that will require determined, strategic action."

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