Goldman Sachs is considering a large office in Manchester or Leeds in a sign that the UK regions could benefit from big banks cutting costs as world financial turmoil intensifies.

However, the positive news is balanced by expectations that levels of business will fall in the UK’s satellite financial centres, mirroring the slump in the City.

Midas, an inward investment agency, said yesterday Manchester was on a Goldman Sachs’ shortlist for opening a 100,000 sq ft office in the Spinningfields development, which has already attracted Bank of New York Mellon, Deloitte, PwC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays and BDO Stoy Hayward.

Salaries and rent can be up to a third cheaper in the two northern cities than in London. Goldman, which declined to comment, is understood to be interested in opening a back office operation employing several hundred staff.

Deutsche Bank has already announced plans for a back office employing 250 people in Birmingham.

Financial Times