Office space premium spurs fintech boom in East and North West London

John Hewitt Jones

August 19, 2016

Continuing office space price hikes have shifted London’s financial businesses to new areas of the capital with new hubs emerging in East and North West London, analysis by Stirling Ackroyd shows.

Of the top ten financial hubs in Greater London – excluding the City itself – six lie outside West London. City Road, towards Clerkenwell (EC1V) and home to Mortgage Introducer, has the fourth largest number of financial businesses, with 1,309 registered in the postal district.

The financial sector now makes up 6% of all businesses in EC1V, previously an area synonymous with tech given its location on the edge of what has been dubbed the “silicon roundabout”.

SE1 has also taken the number two spot in the top 10 emerging financial hubs. The postal district has 1,640 financial businesses, demonstrating the growing appeal of heading south of the river and the success of regeneration around London Bridge and beyond.

Three postal districts in North West London house a large number of registered financial businesses.

Camden Town and Regent’s Park (NW1), Golders Green and Hampstead Garden Suburb (NW11) and Harlesden and Kensal Green (NW10) have a respective 1,397, 1,139 and 1,002 financial businesses registered. Companies within the financial sector now make up 13.5% of all businesses within NW11.

Andrew Bridges, managing director of Stirling Ackroyd, said: “London’s financial heart has always seemed the City of London. But the scarcity of City office space and the growing attractiveness of new locations over the wall is causing an increasing number of businesses to bypass the City or relocate.

“Brexit may have fuelled fears that the capital’s financial reputation is dimming but, in reality, it’s growing. Spiralling rents have pushed financial businesses towards cheaper locations that still benefit from the transport links, ready customers and global positioning London offers, as well as an enticing range of cafés, bars and restaurants.

“Budding financial businesses are gathering in the East of London – drawn in by the start-up culture and gradually transforming the area’s reputation as a cultural hinterland into a serious economic rival.

“Our data shows an emerging ‘game of loans’ as rival centres emerge to try to take the city’s crown. City Road, Shoreditch and Old Street have all been seen as top tech locations, but now the focus is turning to finance. Fintech is the future and the city fringes are the perfect place for this to unfold.

“The North West of London has long had a financial reputation but the rising number of financial firms proves that the area is attracting more and more small businesses. Lower rents and the leafy environment are an instant pull for commercial renting and it’s likely that this hub will only grow in the near future.”

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