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September 22, 2016updated 26 Sep 2016 1:39pm

Is HSBC heading to trendy Shoreditch for fintech talent?

Bank could end up paying large sums of money to be close to the talent pool.

By James Nunns

Fintech talent is hot property but so is office space, especially when it comes to London, but HSBC wants both.

The largest bank in Europe has hired the real estate broker CBRE Group in order to help it find 50,000 square feet of office space in areas around London such as Shoreditch and Old Street.

The hope it seems is that by positioning itself in start-up rich areas the bank will be able to capture some of the talent, according to reports in Bloomberg.

HSBC wouldn’t be the only operation popping up in the area with the hope of luring some tech talent its way as Barclays opened a fintech accelerator in Whitechapel in 2015.

The move highlights a growing move from banks to look outside of their in-house development teams for talent that could help them gain a competitive edge in the market. The edge that talent from start-ups could provide may help a bank like HSBC to better deal with the challenges posed by fintechs that are much nimbler in their use of technology.

BoxPark is a pop up mall based in Shoreditch.

BoxPark is a pop up mall based in Shoreditch.

External partnerships have become a lot more common as well, according to reports by the likes of Accenture, which show that invest into start-ups has increased over the past two years. Banks have also taken the action to create accelerator programs, run hackathons, and various competitions in the hopes that this will bring in more talent.

Banks such as UBS, Santander, Citigroup, and more have all set up programs like these.

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Other banks such as Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland have gone further and created hubs for digital development in their offices.

Typically banks have based themselves in the Docklands area where rent is £47.50 per square foot annually, the City of London financial district where rent is £70. Tech start-ups have typically been found in the ‘trendier’ areas like Shoreditch where office space is typically £65 per square foot annually, according to broker Jones Lang LaSalle.

HSBC has not commented on its expansion plans but if it were to invest in the large amount of office space then it highlights the value it places on finding the best talent.

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