Ministers have not yet come to a decision as to whether staff at the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) will be asked to relocate to Birmingham following the launch of the UK’s new audit watchdog, City A.M. understands.
Staff were told that Birmingham had been picked as the home of the UK’s new Audit, Reporting Governance Authority (Arga) but that other details had not been decided yet.
City A.M. understands a meeting took place yesterday in which senior managers quibbled with earlier reports that staff would be forced to relocate to the Birmingham office.
This follows reports in the Financial Times and City A.M. that plans being overseen by Lord Callanan will see 200 of the FRC’s 400 staff move to Birmingham for Arga’s launch, as part of the UK government’s wider levelling up agenda.
Lord Callanan reportedly called for all future recruitment to be carried out in Birmingham with a view to leaving just a small Arga presence in London “if any”.
However, City A.M. understands that only the location for Arga has been decided and that no plans to relocate staff have yet been finalised.,
The meeting comes amid reports of internal resistance inside the FRC over the relocation plans and claims from industry experts the move to the UK’s second largest city could lead to an exodus of talent.
The FRC declined to comment. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has been approached for comment.