How many financial districts does one city need?

We talk about “The City” in London like we do about “The Wall Street” in New York when we mean the financial districts of each place. But it’s a bit more complicated than that in London.

Yes, the City is the old and traditional centre of banking and insurance in the UK. And it’s still a major location for financial firms (interestingly, even within “the square mile” there are clear subdivisions: banks on this side, insurers on that side). Canary Wharf in the old docklands, since the 1980’s, has lots of banks too, especially American investment banks.

But if you want to find hedge funds and other boutique outfits, you best head west: Mayfair and other posh bits of the West End is where they have been congregating since the noughties or so. And finally, there’s the “Silicon Roundabout”, just north of the city, where the latest breed of “fintech” start-ups live.

So – all in all we have four separate financial. districts in one city. It could be considered just a bit excessive, couldn’t it?

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