RETAIL banking workers in London are increasingly willing to go to "regional" centres such as Edinburgh, although Birmingham and Manchester are viewed as more attractive than the Scottish capital.

Financial services recruiter BrightPool found that 49% of respondents in London would move to Manchester and 45% would choose the UK's second largest city Birmingham. Meanwhile 39% would look at Edinburgh or Bristol.

Angela Hickmore, managing director at BrightPool, said: "The retail banking sector in many of the UK's larger regional cities has witnessed significant growth over the past few years. This is in part due to new entrants in the marketplace setting up head offices outside London, as well as existing banks responding to the current economic environment by moving more of their functions to regional offices."

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Scotland is home to two of the most significant banking challengers. Tesco Bank and Virgin Money both have their headquarters in Edinburgh, and Tesco also has a significant presence in Glasgow.

Ms Hickmore added: "Salaries in London for banking staff are often 30% to 40% higher than in regional cities within the UK. For banks looking to save on wages or office rental bills, moving middle or back office units to lower cost centres can have an immediate impact."