London is a vibrant, exciting city filled with job opportunities attracting more than 8 million people into the capital daily.   The centre of financial services and banking is at the heart of the UK banking system and has two main locations, the  city or Square Mile as it is called and Canary Wharf.

City of London

Square mile

The Bank of England, The Royal Exchange, and Mansion House,  are some of the most famous buildings in the City. The Bank of England was built in the 17th century and today overseas the printing and issuing of currency.  The Lloyds Building and The Gherkin are modern additions which provide offices for over 300,000 commuters.

Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf was built in 1802 and was one of the busiest docks in the world, but after the war the docks went into disrepair.  However, in 1982, under the Thatcher regime, the area was redeveloped, with many of the old warehouses being converted into luxury London apartments.  It is also home to some of the major banks, such as HSBC and Credit Suisse, the former being housed in the  one of the UK’s tallest buildings, One Canada Square which stands at 235 metres with 50 floors.  Located next to the DLR station, it also has a shopping centre underneath. Many other head offices for large corporations are located in Canary Wharf and it is now a financial centre to rival the City of London.

Southwark and London Bridge

The area of Southwark has recently undergone extensive  redevelopment, as it is on the site of the 1.5 billion transformation of Elephant and Castle. There are over 300 businesses and 25,000 employees working in this part of London.  London Bridge and Bankside are aiming to bring in 30,000 new jobs and 2,500 more homes between 2001 and 2026. Hopefully these will be more affordable apartments in London to rent and buy. London Bridge is currently the location of the tallest building in Europe, The Shard, which was opened in June this year. The Shard stands at 309.6 metres tall, with  72 inhabitable floors, along with offices and restaurants.  It also has the highest open air observation deck on the 72nd floor.

West End

The West End includes the area from Hyde park corner east to Covent Garden and up to Goodge Street. As well as being a tourist destination, the West End is also a place where many businesses are located.  Those in the media industry frequently have their offices in the West End.  These agencies are scattered around Oxford Street, Covent Garden and up to Goodge Street.  The West End is also where the private equity groups and fund managers are located.  They are in Mayfair, along St James Street and around Berkeley Square, which is also home to the Bentley dealership and the boutique designer shops.
Shoreditch

This up and coming area now has many creative and design businesses and agencies in the London Borough of Hackney.  Since the late 1990s, Shoreditch has become a popular part of London. Many web based companies such as Last.fm and SocialGo are in this area.  It used to be a mainly  poorer residential area but now many former warehouses and industrial buildings have been converted into luxury flats.

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