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Voice of confidence in Brexit Great Britain from Citigroup and Bentley

Voice of confidence in Brexit UK: Citigroup in £100m refurbishment of its London headquarters as Bentley announces it will invest £2.5bn in Crewe factory



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Britain got a double boost as banking giant Citigroup and automaker Bentley outlined major investment plans as the country recovers from Covid.

In a vote of confidence in Brexit Britain, Citi launched a £100m overhaul for its 42-storey tower in Canary Wharf, despite predictions that foreign banks would leave en masse following the vote to leave the EU.

And luxury carmaker Bentley unveiled a £2.5bn investment in Crewe to build its first all-electric car, securing 4,000 jobs.

Citigroup has launched a £100m refurbishment of its 42-storey tower in Canary Wharf (pictured), despite predictions that foreign banks would leave en masse following the vote to leave the EU

Citigroup has launched a £100m refurbishment of its 42-storey tower in Canary Wharf (pictured), despite predictions that foreign banks would leave en masse following the vote to leave the EU

Ministers and business leaders said the plans were a “clear vote of confidence in the UK economy”.

The investments came just on the day when the International Monetary Fund predicted that Britain will have the fastest-growing economy of any G7 nation in the coming year — including the US, Germany, France and Japan.

However, rising energy bills and rising inflation are contributing to a cost of living crisis, putting pressure on ordinary households.

Minister for Affairs and Investment Lord Grimstone said: ‘Investment is at the heart of our economic recovery. It boosts jobs, innovation and helps to level up the whole of the UK.

Capital investment: Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser

Capital investment: Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser

Capital investment: Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser

“These major latest investments are a clear vote of confidence in the UK economy, further establishing the UK as a global leader in highly skilled industries including finance, science and green manufacturing.”

The three-year renovation will turn the Citi Tower into an “eco-friendly” office that uses water from showers and sinks to flush toilets.

There will also be parental rooms and ‘health gardens’. Citi, whose chief executive is Scottish banker Jane Fraser, did not say how much it would cost, although it is said to be around £100 million.

James Bardrick, head of UK at Citi, said the renovation showed Citi’s commitment to London for “25 years and beyond”. Since Brexit, more than 1,000 jobs have been created in London, where it has 9,000 employees. It has used the building since 2001, but bought it in 2019 for £1.2 billion.

Bardrick added: ‘We are absolutely confident that London and the UK will continue to be an important place to run global financial services companies.

“With the talent pool and with the legal system and regulatory standard, we have no qualms about committing to London and the UK.”

Bentley’s massive £2.5bn investment is part of a ten-year plan to realize its ‘green dream’ of building all-electric luxury performance cars in Britain.

Luxury car maker Bentley unveiled a £2.5bn investment at its Crewe factory (pictured) to build its first all-electric car, securing 4,000 jobs

Luxury car maker Bentley unveiled a £2.5bn investment at its Crewe factory (pictured) to build its first all-electric car, securing 4,000 jobs

Luxury car maker Bentley unveiled a £2.5bn investment at its Crewe factory (pictured) to build its first all-electric car, securing 4,000 jobs

The first will roll off the production line within three years and every new car will be electric in eight years when the Crewe plant is transformed into a ‘Dream Factory’.

It’s because the Volkswagen company, which dates back to 1919, aims to be carbon neutral by 2030.

Adrian Hallmark, Bentley CEO, said: ‘Securing production of our first battery-powered electric vehicle is a milestone as we plan for a long-term sustainable future in Crewe.’

Bentley’s move follows major commitments from Nissan to its Sunderland plant and Britishvolt electric vehicle battery maker, which is planning a massive plant in the North East.

John Foster, campaign manager at the Confederation of British Industry, said: ‘This injection of fresh capital into the economy is exactly what is needed now. Increasing business investment will boost our recovery.

From new electric car factories to tech hubs, these investments show that the UK remains one of the best places in the world to do business.”

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