The Bank of England is to create a new northen operations hub in Leeds as it prepares for the closure of its cash distribution centre in the city.
Chief operating officer Jo Place is leading a review of the Bank’s geographical footprint, considering aspects such as the number of staff involved, recruitment models, and the timescales for delivery.
The Bank has 12 Agencies across the UK, including for nine regions of England and each of the devolved nations. These operate from a network of offices in Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Fareham, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and Nottingham.
The Bank has had operations in Leeds dating back to 1827 including a cash centre which is due to close in 2023 when the lease on the building expires. The central bank is currently negotiating with labour unions about the impact on the 34 staff that work on the premises.
The closure reflect waning demand for cash and the introduction of new polymer banknotes. The Bank has concluded that future distribution needs can be met from its Debden cash centre and existing storage facilities, without replacing the Leeds cash centre.
The current review of the Bank's operational footprint will take into account the experiences of remote working throughout the pandemic, with the Bank expecting to allow a more flexible model of working in the future to allow employees greater flexibility about when, where and how they work.
Governor Andrew Bailey says: “Working through a year of Covid has shown that we can function well virtually and, as the country begins to open up again, it is more important than ever to think about what our future working arrangements look like. This includes the options for working more remotely, and how we can gain better insights into the country and the people we serve."