JPMORGAN Chase has underlined its long-term commitment to Glasgow as it officially opened its huge new base and signalled plans to grow its headcount in the city.

The New York banking giant formally unveiled its state-of-the-art, 270,000 square foot home in Glasgow at a ceremony attended by First Minister Humza Yousaf today.

The 14-storey office on Argyle Street, at the heart of Glasgow’s International Financial Services District, was five years in the making, with around 3,700 local construction workers employed during the development phase.

US-based JPMorgan Chase has had a presence in Glasgow for 25 years, with the city now firmly established as one of its leading technology and software development centres in the world. The bank currently employs 2,600 people in Glasgow and 4,000 in Scotland as a whole.

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Responding to questions from The Herald, global chief information officer Lori Beer told The Herald: “Our new building represents JPMorgan Chase’s long-term commitment to Glasgow and to Scotland. This sustainable, state-of-the-art workplace will house future generations of our people and serve as an investment that is much more than the building itself. It is an investment in the community – reflecting the far-reaching impact our company has in Glasgow.

“When we decided to open a tech centre here 25 years ago, we started with just a couple [of] hundred technologists. Fast forward to today, we now have more than 2,600 technologists in Glasgow, with an additional 1,400 colleagues in Edinburgh. And we are continuing to hire.”

Ms Beer added: “We are proud to be one of the largest technology employers in Scotland (we might actually be the largest) and even prouder that we are a top destination for women and other technologists from historically under-represented groups.”

JPMorgan Chase invested in its new Glasgow home  after it had outgrown its previous office on Bothwell Street (it also had a smaller office on Waterloo Street). The new office, which was built to high environmental standards and designed to enhance employee well-being, includes space for the team to grow. And Ms Beer revealed the bank is keen to add to its headcount in the city.

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She said: “Yes, we are hiring and looking to grow in Glasgow. A number of businesses have developed technology talent in the city and surrounding area, so the quality of tech specialists has continually strengthened in the time we have been here. Once that ecosystem establishes itself, it is a foundation that attracts more top talent – so it is an ever-evolving circle.

“Glasgow has a great pool of talent in terms of the software engineering skillsets we look for. We always want to be where our clients are, and where the talent is. We recognised the hotbed of talent in Glasgow for technology and software engineering specifically, which is why we opened our tech centre here 25 years ago. The skill set, time zone and proximity to some of our key markets make Glasgow a great location for our global company.”

Ms Beer  said the bank had not encountered major difficulties in hiring staff in light of the UK Government’s tightening of immigration rules.

She noted: “We have not seen much of an affect. As in many countries, the UK Government is supportive of skilled immigration, and we want highly-trained people to work with us, wherever they are from.”

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The focus of the bank’s operations in Glasgow is exclusively on technology, providing software development facilities to the firm and its clients worldwide. The Glasgow base is one of its 23 global technology centres, which serve as centres of excellence to build and support the innovative technology behind the bank’s businesses.

Mr 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.”

Adrian Gillespie, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise, 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.”

Ms Beer was keen to emphasise the links the bank and its staff have forged with local communities in Glasgow over the last 25 years, and its philanthropic work in the area. The bank said it has committed £2.9m in philanthropic capital over five years.

Ms Beer also underlined its work on engaging with school children as it strives to encourage the next generation of tech talent.

She said: “Our employees are passionate about their work. But they are also passionate about developing strong links with local schools, universities and community organizations across the city. They are active members of their respective communities and help the firm to invest in respective neighbourhoods.

“In addition to the firm’s philanthropic and community commitments, our employees also run a number of initiatives to encourage young people to choose computer science or STEM-based pathways. We work with community organizations like dressCode, SmartSTEMS, and The Prince's Trust.

“A group of employees also founded a local charity about 10 years ago, MakeItHappen, which now runs independently with our support. By the end of this school year in June, MakeItHappen will have engaged with more than 100,000 students from over 250 schools, and helped students ideate, design, and build hundreds of apps.

“And through our Generation Tech program, we engage with students from underrepresented communities between the ages of 5-18, to help solve social challenges through technology. Many of the young women who have participated in GenerationTech have joined the firm as graduate level apprentices.”