Are media and technology taking over the City?

By Eleanor O'Neill, CA Today

9 May 2017

Financial services workers could be outnumbered in the City by media, technology and professional services specialists within the next 15 years, according to research by Colliers.

The report, which examined the proportion of workers present in London by sector, has predicted that there will be 7% more employees in emerging non-financial sectors by 2030 than in FS.

Since 1996, the proportion of FS employees in the City has fallen from 46% to 35% but still remains the biggest employer in the region. Professional and technical industries have seen a steady increase in the same period to account for 26% of jobs.

The amount of Square Mile office space owned or rented by media and technology firms rose by 43% in the last five years.

Some level of the decline in London-based FS jobs may be due to a redistribution of assets in response to the EU referendum result. Financial institutions, including HSBC and JP Morgan, have already announced their intention to move some of their operations to various EU hubs in the aftermath of a Brexit deal.

However, Guy Grantham, Director of Research and Forecasting at Colliers, noted that the fall in FS employees pre-dates Brexit and may be the result of industry-specific factors. He said: “It has come about due to margin squeezes for major banks in the prolonged low-interest rate environment, necessitating reductions in overheads, coupled with the rise of ‘tech and media’ and the footloose nature of that sector’s occupational needs.”


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