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London joins Citibank IT innovation network

Citibank has made London home to its latest IT innovation hub, which will focus on applying data science and high performance computing to the business

Citibank will open an innovation lab in London, which will experiment with data science and high performance computing, and create prototypes for the Markets and Securities Services part of the business.

The lab will employ 75 people to join Citibank’s Global Innovation network, which already includes labs in Dublin, Mexico, Singapore and Israel. It will be part of the bank’s attempt to encourage employees to turn their business ideas into reality.

This is good news for London, which looks set to see large numbers of jobs move to European Union (EU) countries after the UK leaves the EU. Citi has, for example, decided to locate its EU headquarters in Frankfurt when the UK leaves the EU, which will see 250 jobs initially move there from London.

Paco Ybarra, global head of markets and securities services, said the financial services industry is already a heavy user of technology and this will only accelerate.

“We have always invested heavily in digital, but what we are seeing now is a step-change in both the investment we dedicate to technology and the pace of the evolution,” said Ybarra.

“The addition of London to our network Labs highlights our commitment to the UK as a strategic hub for innovation,” he added. The bank’s markets and securities services division employs more than 10,000 IT staff globally.

Large multinationals are spreading their IT development hubs across the world to take advantage of the different advantages offered in various locations, as well as to gain access to markets.

As a result, there is increased competition among major IT hubs. To win, these hubs must offer the right people, infrastructure and legislation to support a thriving global business ecosystem.

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The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Connecting commerce: Business confidence in the digital environment report considered each city’s access to talent, open data, finance and innovation labs, as well as having a modern ICT infrastructure.

London was Europe’s highest-ranked city in ninth place. Indian cities dominated, with Bangalore Mumbai and New Delhi making up three of the top four.

Read more on Financial applications

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