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Financial watchdog opens Leeds office in regional push

FCA opens a Leeds office.

The UK’s financial regulator is opening an office in Leeds and hiring more than 100 new staff as part of a regional expansion.

This September the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which oversees fintechs such as Monzo and Wise, will open an office at 6 Queen Street in Leeds’ business district to home its Digital Delivery Centre.

The FCA’s head office is in Stratford, East London. It also has an office in Edinburgh, Scotland, and in February announced plans to hire 200 new staff there.

The Leeds expansion will be led by William Hague, director of change and transformation at the FCA. Meanwhile, Phil Nixon has been appointed as head of the Digital Delivery Centre.

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

“I’m delighted that we’re moving a step closer to opening our new Leeds office, in a city with a growing reputation as a digital and tech hub.”

The FCA’s Leeds office is another boost for the Yorkshire city, which is home to startups such as eco fintech Tred and business fintech Oak North Bank.

The city boasts a robust spinout ecosystem, with the University of Leeds-owned Nexus innovation hub home to more than 120 tech startups and scaleups.

Councillor James Lewis, leader of Leeds City Council, said:“Leeds City Council has worked hard to ensure that Leeds is seen as an attractive destination for business and organisations, and it’s great to see that recognised as more organisations move into our city.

“The city has financial, digital and tech sectors that are strong and resilient, with a population that is innovative, diverse and brimming with talent.”

Last month the FCA appointed former Hong Kong regulator chief Ashley Alder as its new chair.