London Essex Finance Corridor

Why are there so many specialist financial companies in Essex?

Shawbrook Bank

Just beyond the City of London, in Essex, there’s a cluster of high value-added, specialist finance businesses that bring a distinctive concentration of knowledge, innovation, skills and wealth to the county.  And their presence in Essex has created an attractive business environment for other specialist financial services companies seeking profitable locations outside London and the City.

Location, lifestyle and connectivity...

Thames Card Technology

Some of Essex’s specialist financial services businesses are home grown; others have moved in to take advantage of the ‘out-of-city’ location. Either way, their success seems to be breeding more success. The fact that Coutts Bank has a Chelmsford branch and BNY Mellon UK is based in Brentwood gives an indication of the county’s affluence.  The stockbroking arm of Santander is based in Billericay where connectivity meets the requirements of high speed trading, and Marsh UK, LV=, Cofunds and Shawbrook Bank all have head offices in Essex.  Financial technology companies are another part of the Essex story, including successful businesses such as Thames Card Technology, a global supplier of plastic cards to the banking and travel money industry.

A great alternative to the city...

Shawbrook Bank, one of the new breed of specialist banks to start up after the financial crisis, is firmly established in Brentwood.  It’s a real Essex success story, with a personalised approach to lending that has brought it multiple awards.  According to the company Brentwood is a location that really works…

“Not only is it close enough to London for regular meetings but it also has fast easy access to the rest of the UK so it’s easy to visit our network of brokers around the country. It’s a very attractive proposition to live and work out of the City and there is a really good talent pool in the local area”.

Fiona Cornes
Corporate Affairs & Group Marketing Director
Shawbrook Bank

Where financial service people go after London...

Brentwood is the second most popular destination for Londoners leaving the City [1] and has, as a result, a higher percentage of ‘Finance and Other Business Services’ workers than any major city in the UK, including London [2]. That’s a big concentration of financial services knowledge and expertise in just one, small Essex town.

The city, beyond London...

London Road Brentwood Essex

As a location for high-value financial services businesses outside the City, the Essex offer is hard to beat.  There’s a talented workforce, affordable prime office space and great places to live within 30 minutes of central London.  It can be as easy to get to a meeting in the City from Essex as it is from West London, and highly qualified City workers are attracted by the opportunity to work close to where they live – which often means Essex [3].

Is it not surprising, then, that specialist financial services companies are choosing to set up business in towns like Brentwood?

Find out more

Contact INVEST Essex to find out more about property, people and support for your expanding financial services business in Essex, UK.


[1] ‘As rental prices soar, where do Londoners move to when they quit the city? Broadstone and Brentwood top the list’: Billy Ehrenberg:
[2] ONS business register and employment survey, 2013
[3] Nomis 2010: 19% of Essex-based workers commute to London