The International Financial Services District (IFSD) in Glasgow is a highly attractive inward investment location for leading international financial services companies and a jewel in the crown of the city’s inward investment strategy.
Led by Glasgow City Council and Scottish Enterprise, the IFSD has harnessed over £1bn of investment, bringing more than 15,000 jobs to the area, since its launch in 2001.
Glasgow offers strengths in asset management, investment operations, general insurance, shared services, business process outsourcing and the fast growing areas of legal services and FinTech or financial IT.
Among the IFSD’s impressive list of major financial institutions are Barclays, Santander, esure, Morgan Stanley, Tesco Bank, NFU Mutual, HSBC, JP Morgan, RBS, BNP Paribas, Aon, Clydesdale Bank, AXA and RSA.
All of these have found Glasgow an exceptional place in which to do business and many have expanded their operations in the city.
In the past two years, for example, JP Morgan has recruited hundreds of new technology staff for its European Technology Centre in Glasgow, adding to the 1,100 previously there. Morgan Stanley has confirmed a pre-let for new 150,000 ft2 offices to house its expanding workforce, currently around 1,350, the company’s second largest office in Europe, after London.
Existing transport connections facilitate easy access to the 1.5m people in Glasgow’s Travel to Work area. The city has the largest suburban rail network in the UK outside London, an underground railway system and three international airports within 45 minutes drive. The city also has excellent rail and motorway links, with up to eight trains per hour to and from Edinburgh during office hours, with a journey time of 40 minutes.
Employers value the city’s highly qualified workforce, competitive salaries, impressive staff retention and low staff turnover. More than 40% are educated to degree level and more than half of Glasgow’s workforce are educated to at least NVQ Level 3. And, the city’s four universities and extensive network of colleges, in close liaison with employers, ensure the right talent pipeline is flowing.
Finally, Glasgow’s “assisted area” status makes it eligible for Regional Selective Assistance grants to support investment in capital or jobs.