Vote of confidence in Brexit Britain: Citigroup in £100m revamp of London HQ as Bentley announces it is to invest £2.5bn in Crewe plant
Britain received a double boost as banking giant Citigroup and car maker Bentley outlined major investment plans as the country bounces back from Covid.
In a vote of confidence in Brexit Britain, Citi launched a £100million overhaul of its 42-storey tower in Canary Wharf, despite predictions that foreign banks would leave in droves after the vote to leave the EU.
And luxury car maker Bentley unveiled a £2.5billion investment in Crewe to build its first all-electric car, safeguarding 4,000 jobs.
Citigroup has launched a £100m overhaul of its 42-storey tower in Canary Wharf (pictured), despite predictions that foreign banks would leave in droves after the vote to leave the EU
Ministers and business leaders said the schemes were a ‘clear vote of confidence in the UK economy’.
The investments came just a day the International Monetary Fund predicted Britain will have the fastest-growing economy of all G7 countries – including the US, Germany, France and Japan – in the coming year.
However, rising energy bills and accelerating inflation are contributing to a cost of living crisis, squeezing ordinary households.
Business and investment minister Lord Grimstone said: ‘Investment sits at the heart of our economy recovery. It drives jobs, innovation and helps to level up the whole of the UK.
Capital investment: Citigroup chief executive Jane Fraser
‘These significant latest investments are a clear vote of confidence in the UK economy, further establishing the UK as a world leader in highly skilled industries including finance, science and green manufacturing.’
The three-year revamp will make the Citi Tower an ‘environmentally sustainable’ office that uses water collected from showers and sinks to flush toilets.
It will also have parent rooms and ‘health gardens’. Citi, whose chief executive is Scottish banker Jane Fraser, did not say how much it would cost, though it is understood to be around £100million.
James Bardrick, head of UK at Citi, said the refurbishment showed Citi was committing itself to London for ‘25 years and beyond’. Since Brexit, it has added more than 1,000 jobs in London, where it has 9,000 staff. It has been using the building since 2001 but bought it in 2019 for £1.2billion.
Bardrick added: ‘We are absolutely sure that London, and the UK, will remain a key place to run global financial services businesses from.
‘With the talent pool and with the legal system and the regulatory standard, we don’t struggle to commit to London and the UK.’
Bentley’s mammoth £2.5billion investment is part of a ten-year plan to fulfil its ‘green dream’ of building fully electric luxury performance cars in Britain.
Luxury car maker Bentley unveiled a £2.5bn investment at its Crewe factory (pictured) to build its first all-electric car, safeguarding 4,000 jobs
The first one is set to roll off the production line within three years and within eight every new car will be electric as the Crewe plant is transformed into a ‘Dream Factory’.
It comes as the Volkswagen-owned company, which dates back to 1919, is aiming to become carbon neutral by 2030.
Adrian Hallmark, Bentley chief executive, said: ‘Securing production of our first battery-powered electric vehicle is a milestone moment as we plan for a long-term sustainable future in Crewe.’
Bentley’s move follows major commitments made by Nissan to its Sunderland plant and electric car battery-maker Britishvolt, which is planning a huge factory in the North East.
John Foster, chief campaign director at the Confederation of British Industry, said: ‘This injection of fresh capital into the economy is exactly what’s needed right now. Increasing business investment will help to supercharge our recovery.
From new electric car factories to tech hubs, these investments show the UK remains one of the best places in the world to do business.’