Birmingham is set to be the home of the new accountancy regulator that will replace the Financial Reporting Council.
The move will see the 400 FRC staff currently based in London gradually move to Birmingham, with 200 staff to move immediately once the Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority (Arga) is up and running, according to the Financial Times.
Initially announced by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy in 2019, the new regulator will have enhanced statutory powers to oversee the accountancy profession and UK company governance.
Arga will be given greater power in cases of corporate failure, including new powers to require rapid explanations from companies and in the most serious cases publish a report about the company’s conduct and management.
The move is part of a wider agenda by the government to shift 22,000 civil servants out of London and into the regions by 2030. So far 7,000 have moved.
Speaking to the Financial Times, one official described the move as a “brilliant opportunity” to boost economic growth beyond the “London bubble”.
However, the plans could be met with resistance, with another individual stating that talks of how many people would be based outside of London was “premature”.
The FRC and BEIS did not respond to FTAdviser’s request for comment on the move.
The new watchdog is not expected to be in place until 2024 at the earliest.