A major national financial body is to locate one of its offices in Coventry.
The Financial Ombudsman Service is set to take two floors of the new 11-storey One Friargate, now nearing completion near the railway station.
The Financial Ombudsman Service – the UK’s official expert in sorting out problems with financial services – has a major office in London, but has been looking for an additional office with good transport connections, less than 100 minutes from the capital. The move will accommodate up to 300 staff later this year when the building is complete.
The service – which handled around 1.4 million enquiries last year – is an independent body set up to resolve individual disputes between customers and businesses.
Councillor Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs and Regeneration and a board member of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), said: “This is very positive news that the Financial Ombudsman Service has decided to locate its new office in Coventry.
“Not only were the Financial Ombudsman Service impressed with the location, right next to the station with a regular and fast service to London, they also see real potential for their business be based here and we were able to beat off other areas in an open process. We’ve always been clear that if the right partner came along, we would be happy to restructure our move, to encourage investment and job creation here in the city.
“This has all happened really quickly – in fact it’s all been sorted in under a month. The Financial Ombudsman Service clearly believes that Friargate can work for them – and I believe that having another business located there will help to sell the opportunities to other businesses.
“We are keen to ensure that our city continues to attract and retain big name employers, creating quality jobs for local people and contributing to the success of the wider region. We believe having the Financial Ombudsman Service at Friargate will send a really important message to other potential business partners.”
The service will take approximately 22,500 square feet on a 10-year lease, and will be moving into the building from October. This will result in the Council retaining its offices at Broadgate House in the city centre for about 300 staff.
Caroline Wayman, chief ombudsman, said: “We solve problems for consumers and businesses from across the UK every day. We’re delighted to have found this excellent new office space in Coventry and are looking forward to moving in and getting to work.”
Steve Reynolds, of Friargate, added: “The Financial Ombudsman Service choosing to locate some of its offices away from London shows huge confidence in Friargate and illustrates the attraction of the city and the development to a range of potential occupiers. I am sure that, with the first two major employers now set to move into One Friargate before the end of the year, interest in Friargate and Coventry as an attractive business location will continue to grow.”
Jonathan Browning, Chairman of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), said: “Friargate is a flagship development for Coventry and Warwickshire and to attract a major employer and nationally-renowned body like the Financial Ombudsman Service underlines its potential and sends out a strong message to other companies and organisations looking to locate in the Midlands.
“As an area, we are very well connected, have two well-respected universities and a host of thriving businesses across a wide range of sectors. We are an attractive destination for investors but we know we are competing with other cities across the UK and beyond.”
Aiming to be fully installed in Friargate by the end of this year the Financial Ombudsman Service will take two floors of the building and share the ground floor reception with the Council.