Tunbridge Wells has been labelled a ‘banking hotspot’ after research found the number of people employed in the industry increased from 486 to 5,425.
The British Bankers Association (BBA) figures show Tunbridge Wells tops a list of 77 boroughs which have experienced higher growth in the creation of related jobs than London and far exceeds the number two ‘hotspot’ Babergh, Suffolk, which had 197 per cent.
In total 5,425 jobs in Tunbridge Wells were in banking-related industries, including support services such as IT, last year, up 1,016 per cent from 2013, when only 486 jobs were identified. By contrast, the city of London saw growth of just 8 per cent.
On the report, titled Banking on British Jobs, chief executive of the BBA Anthony Browne said: “These figures show that a strong banking industry benefits the whole country, not just the capital.
“Data highlights that banks are increasingly creating jobs and apprenticeships right across Britain as part of a shift away from London.
“The industry is playing a crucial role in helping young people get a foot on the careers ladder and providing highly skilled jobs for local communities.”
The report added: “From Broadland to Tunbridge Wells to South Gloucestershire, it is positive to see new local hubs for jobs in banking.”
One of the first Metro Bank branches outside London opened in Tunbridge Wells in May, helping to cement the town’s reputation as a ‘hotspot’ for financial services.
Iain Kirkpatrick, managing director of regional banking at Metro Bank said: “We were delighted to open our 35th store in Tunbridge Wells earlier this year, creating more than 15 jobs for local people.
“We search for the best sites in every town and invest heavily to ensure our stores exceed our customers’ expectations and we are delighted with our store, right in the heart of Tunbridge Wells.
“Tunbridge Wells is a strong and diverse community with great links into London and the surrounding areas and we look forward to meeting even more local residents and businesses as we become more established in the local community.”