© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A view of The Bank of England and the City of London financial district in London, Britain

LONDON (Reuters) – The Bank of England said on Thursday it plans to open a “northern hub” in England, as part of a drive to make the central bank less London-centric.

The BoE said it intends to locate the hub in Leeds, the largest city in Yorkshire, where a cash distribution centre is slated to close in 2023.

“Having a greater proportion of our workforce located outside London and the South East will better enable us to support our mission,” Governor Andrew Bailey said in a statement.

The BoE also said it plans to expand its staff presence in other parts of the United Kingdom. It is conducting a review to look at the number of staff involved and the timescale.

The central bank’s move follows the finance ministry’s move to relocate some operations to Darlington, a town in the north east of England, as part of a government plan to make good Britain’s poor record of regional investment.

The BoE had regional branches for more than 150 years before they closed in the mid-1990s, although it maintained a network of representatives across the country, known as agents.

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