JPMorgan doubles down on Glasgow’s ‘rich hub of tech talent’
Credit: Tanasut Chindasuthi / Shutterstock

JPMorgan Chase has opened a new technology centre in Glasgow’s International Finance District as it continues to grow its operational presence in the city.

The US-based multinational bank has had a presence in Scotland’s largest city for the past 25 years, focused chiefly around its technology centre, one of 23 worldwide. The Glasgow branch employs 2,600 people tasked with developing the group’s technological capabilities.

Like other prominent banking players, JPMorgan has been increasingly investing in fintech over recent years, eyeing up opportunities in blockchain technology, Artificial Intelligence, Open Banking and embedded finance. The group’s 23 tech centres provide the research and development functions behind these ambitions.

Mark Napier, Managing Director of JPMorgan Chase’s Glasgow Technology Centre, said: “We purposefully designed the Argyle Street building to make it one of the best working environments in Glasgow. I’m excited to see how the modern and collaborative space we have created will drive our business forward.”

A range of modern, post-COVID working conditions have been factored into the centre’s design and operation. This includes experimental meeting spaces, conference rooms, work cafés and games rooms, access to natural lighting and a wellness studio. 

Sustainability is another area of focus, with the centre having been awarded a gold WELL standard for lighting, water, air quality and noise reduction, with 90W solar panels providing some of its power.

In a statement, JPMorgan asserted that its opening of the new centre is indicative not just of its technological ambitions but also its commitment to investing in Scotland. The firm has invested £2.9m in charitable causes across the country, aims to recruit locally and has invested in companies in technology, life sciences and green tech spaces.

Lori Beer, Global Chief Information Officer at JPMorgan Chase, remarked: “We have been among Glasgow’s top technology employers for 25 years now, and this is a deliberate long-term investment in the city and our employees. 

“Time after time, Glasgow has proved itself to be a rich hub of tech talent and innovation, and today we are doubling down on being a part of the local community here.”

As noted above, the 23 tech centres, including the new location in Glasgow, underpin JPMorgan’s global ambitions to better harness technology to support and enhance its banking and financial services operations.

If recent comments by CEO Jamie Dimon are anything to go by, AI development could be a significant area of focus for the new Glasgow centre, or for any of the other 22 centres. Like other banks, AI is nothing new to JP Morgan, with the firm utilising the tech since 2017.

However, rapid development and acceleration of the tech in recent years, particularly generative AI (GenAI). In a letter to investors earlier this month, Dimon asserted that the bank believes AI ‘has the potential to augment virtually every job, as well as impact our workforce composition’.

As well as showcasing JPMorgan’s continued commitment to tech, the Glasgow centre is also indicative of the growing significance of Scotland’s fintech sector and the changing dynamics of UK fintech as a whole.

Fintech Scotland, the trade association for the Scottish fintech scene, reported in January that the number of jobs in the sector had increased 24% over the past two years, partly driven by international businesses setting up shop in the country.

On the Glasgow centre, Scottish Enterprise Chief Executive, Adrian Gillespie, said: “JPMorgan Chase are to be congratulated on the opening of their fantastic new building, which stands as a testament to the success the company has enjoyed since coming to Glasgow 25 years ago, now employing 2,600 people in the city.

“Scottish Enterprise worked with JPMC to locate in Glasgow initially, and that office was crucial to the development of the city’s International Financial Services District. 

“This further investment in Scotland is a real endorsement of our diverse and highly skilled technology workforce – just one of the reasons we continue to attract more international investment than any other part of the UK outside of London.”

British fintech has traditionally been focused, unsurprisingly, around the capital city of London, which is itself a major national, European and global leader in banking and financial services.

However, recent years have seen growing sectors in other British cities, such as Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham in England, the Northern Irish and Welsh capitals of Belfast and Cardiff, and Scotland’s Edinburgh and Glasgow.

According to a report from Dealroom and HSBC Innovation Banking, Edinburgh saw venture capital funding in fintech increase by over 200%, the second highest level after the English South Coast city of Brighton. With JPMorgan expanding its Scottish home, Glasgow may be hoping to emulate the success of its capital city counterpart.

First Minister of Scotland, Humza Yousaf, said: “The opening of JPMorgan Chase’s new Glasgow office is an exciting moment for the financial services and technology sectors in Scotland. 

“JPMorgan Chase is one of the country’s largest technology employers, and this renewed commitment to the city acknowledges Scotland’s skilled workforce and our reputation as a centre of excellence for finance and technology.”