Canary Wharf finally overshadows City
Canary Wharf will become the biggest employer of bankers in Europe in the next couple of months, finally overshadowing the centuries-old preeminence of the City.
The decanting of 8,000 jobs by JP Morgan from the Square Mile to 25 Bank Street will turn the estate into the country's - and Europe's - top financial hub sometime in July.
Some 44,500 bankers will be employed on the Wharf - out of a total of more than 90,000 workers - with 43,300 in the City, according to figures from a survey carried out by the Financial Times.
A spokesman for Canary Wharf Group said: "We are proud to have grown this area faster than any other business district in Europe in the past 20 years, and we still have some way to go before we are finished."
A little over 20 years after One Canada Square was completed and around three decades since the idea of an spill-over financial hub was first mooted, the former West India Docks can claim top spot, a move that will continue as the City - which still houses more individual banks - continues to shed jobs and Wood Wharf begins to come online.
The huddle of the City - so handy for gossip - has finally given way to the skyscrapers of the Wharf which can more easily accommodate centralised operations, providing economies of scale.
According to the FT, there is a clear financial incentive with prime office space costing £36 per sq ft in Canary Wharf, compared with £55 per sq ft in the City.
John Biggs was recently re-elected to represent both financial centres on the London Assembly.
He said: "The emergence of Canary Wharf has shaken up the cosy comfort of the City of London and the City has reacted by loosening its planning controls and allowing banks to construct better buildings.
"I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't leapfrog each other from time to time. City won't take this lying down and overall it will be good for London."
The CWG spokesman said: "A growing Canary Wharf is complementary to the City of London.
"We have helped the Square Mile to retain its place as one of the foremost business districts in the world and we will continue to work together with the City to attract investment and world class companies.
"We will also aim to ensure the local community in Tower Hamlets benefits from this economic growth.
"Of course, Canary Wharf is not just a financial community. We are welcoming an increasingly diverse range of businesses here, including those from the dynamic technology, media and telecommunications sectors.
"We also have a growing number of shops, bars and restaurants, which we will expand in the next couple of years.
As well as housing the HQs of HSBC and Barclays, the Wharf hosts JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley and Bank Of America.