Financial Conduct Authority  

FCA signs deal for Leeds office

FCA signs deal for Leeds office
FCA chief executive, Rathi Nikhil

The Financial Conduct Authority has signed a deal for the premises of its office in Leeds.

The regulator first announced its plans to open the office last July and said it would be hiring at least 100 staff in the first phase.

In an update today (August 2), the FCA said the office will open in September and will hire for its ‘digital delivery centre’ alongside other key business teams based there.

The premises in Leeds will be at 6 Queen Street in the heart of the city’s business district. 

Leading the operation will be the FCA’s director of change and transformation, William Hague, who was appointed to the role in March.

Meanwhile, Phil Nixon has been appointed head of the digital delivery centre. 

The regulator’s chief executive, Nikhil Rathi said it is vital that the FCA has a “truly national footprint". 

Previously, the FCA also committed to doubling the number of staff in its Edinburgh office to around 200 and increasing recruitment in data and technology. 

“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,” Rathi said.

Leader of Leeds City Council, councillor James Lewis said he looks forward to welcoming the FCA to the city. 

“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,” he said.

The announcement by the FCA follows the establishment of a small presence in Cardiff and Belfast.  

According to the regulator’s annual reports and accounts published in July, the number of full-time equivalent employees, including executive directors and fixed-term contractors, was down 3.5 per cent on the previous year.

The FCA said this lower headcount was due to a return to pre pandemic levels of attrition and recruitment challenges.

Meanwhile, last week the trade union Unite called for a vote on whether the Financial Conduct Authority’s executive committee should recognise Unite as representing staff at the regulator. 

This followed a number of days of strike action against the regulator earlier in the summer over disputes around changes to pay and conditions.

jane.matthews@ft.com