Higher bosses, wider tasks, and FinTech disrupting the financial services market. This is the face of the new Financial Services sector in Salt Lake City. The roster of innovators and leaders is impressive; talented strategists with global responsibilities are helping to shape our future growth.

Did you know Utah is one of the top states in the nation for Financial Services employment?  Utah employs more than 75,000 people in the Financial Industry and has experienced employment growth at over 23% over the last 5 years. We are home to the highest number of industrial banks in the nation with 15 chartered industrial banks, eight of which are in the top ten industrial banks in the country by asset size.

“Salt Lake City is earning a new title: ‘Wall Street of the West’ – Natalie Gochnour, Ph.D., associate dean of David Eccles School of Business and director of University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute.

Why Salt Lake City? A large part of the growth is due in large part to quality — workforce, life, and business environment. The world is taking notice as financial and business services are choosing to relocate to lower cost markets in the U.S. instead of moving them abroad. Within the last 10 years, Utah has eliminated or modified nearly 400 business regulations to ease the burdens placed on businesses. Over 100 languages are spoken fluently in Salt Lake Metropolitan area which is a benefit to international finance and business services. Many employers are discovering what we already know that Salt Lake City provides a lower cost of living and better quality of life. What used to be over an hour commute one way for some, is down to 15 minutes or less for many of Salt Lake City’s financial services transplants.

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The diversity of the financial services workforce —its youth and above-market salaries have contributed to downtown’s revitalization and embraced our commitment to public transportation and lowering our carbon footprint. In fact it’s one of the reasons newcomer Elefant chose downtown, and Fidelity, Zions Bank, and Goldman Sachs (among others) have invested so heavily in the annual UCair Clean Air Challenge. You could call it a higher minded community that wants to see Salt Lake City thrive and grow responsibly.

Speaking of community, the finance sector is what many local economic developers call a targeted industry cluster.  We focus on it because tends to provide higher wages – now and in the future.  As the industry grows it reaches a something of a critical mass — we tend to see a synergy and community building phenomenon, must like what we’re seeing now with Silicon Slopes. Employers support one another, more opportunities are created, and we retain workforce in the long term. This, in turn, helps the local economy and all employees.

Reach out to Salt Lake City’s Department of Economic Development for more information about our Financial Services industry. We’re here to help!