United Kingdom

Investment bank Peel Hunt backs City by opening a new London HQ

City investment bank Peel Hunt has opened its new office despite the pandemic.

While coronavirus has accelerated a shift towards home-working, which some firms predict is here to stay, Peel Hunt's boss Steven Fine thinks that a return to the office will be needed 'to heal the scars'.

Its vote of confidence in the City of London will see its offices move from Moorgate to 100 Liverpool Street. The development is British Land's first ultra-low carbon building, with all of its electricity from renewable sources.

While coronavirus has accelerated a shift towards home-working, Peel Hunt's boss Steven Fine thinks that a return to the office will be needed 'to heal the scars'

It features its own app which provides workers with deals and offers from local businesses, and a 'wellbeing room'.

Throughout the lockdowns, all Peel Hunt's 250-plus staff were able to work from home.

But many wanted to return to the office when restrictions eased last year, according to Fine, who said he was 'not in the business of making major decisions based on short-term data'.

Fine added: 'To heal the scars the pandemic left behind, we need the lifeblood of the City – its workforce – to return to the office. 

To breathe life back into the restaurants, cafes, bars and shops that depend on them. 

To reconnect with one another, face to face, to share ideas and make new connections. And, ultimately, to drive the recovery we all want to see.'

A number of City firms have decided to shrink their office space. Standard Chartered staff can work from home, or from a shared office near where they live, instead of in central London.

And a survey last year found 74 per cent of financial services firms were reviewing office space needs.

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