How Silicon Roundabout could save finance’s reputation

Tim Wallace
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The City could be saved by the mobile revolution sweeping finance – not just because new technology cuts costs and improves service, but because the tech sector is cool and some of that great image could rub off on banks.

So says insurance boss and bad bank troubleshooter Sue Langley.

The City veteran has been drafted in to run the new Financial Services Organisation, part of UK Trade and Investment.

Langley sees her job as attracting finance firms to the UK, and keeping British businesses here.

So when a finance firm is setting up a new call centre or data analytics office, she wants to put together bids to keep those jobs in the UK – anywhere in the UK – rather than seeing hiring go overseas.

“When I was at Lloyds of London, we saw a swing as graduates applied to insurance instead of banking,” she told City A.M., explaining the reputational damage in the banking sector.

“But there are green shoots as new models come into finance.”

“Technology is reinventing the industry, and it is far easier to start something new than to change the reputation of the existing sector”

And Langley hopes the growth of the finance tech sector will attract more young workers back to the sector.

“This is leading to a change in the profile of jobs in finance, so we will work with universities and colleges,” she said.

“There is also a great opportunity to increase diversity, with the development of this new sector.”

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