Citi expands innovation lab network with London venue

London hub to support markets and securities services business with an initial 75 technologists.

US-based Citi has opened the latest of its network of innovation hubs with a new location in London.

The move will see the hire of 75 technologists from various backgrounds to initially focus on software development, highlighting the bank’s commitment to the UK’s talent pool, according to the bank.

The new lab, located in Moorgate, will host the EMEA operations of Citi Ventures, the unit overseeing venture capital investing and external partnerships, and its D10X programme, which allows the bank’s staff to take new business ideas from concept to launch.

“We have always invested heavily in digital, but what we are seeing now is a step-change in both the investment we dedicate to technology and the pace of the evolution,” said Paco Ybarra, global head of markets and securities services. 

Citi’s innovation labs have been established in countries including Israel, Singapore and Mexico, since the first of the global innovation labs was established in Dublin in 2009.

The launch of the innovation lab marks one of the first investments by a non-domestic bank in London since the UK began preparations to leave the European Union in April 2019.  

Stuart Riley, global head of operations and technology for markets and securities services at Citi, added the labs are also a powerful way of attracting the industry’s top talent.

“As we look to further increase our investment and develop more cutting-edge technologies for our clients, we are thrilled to launch a new lab in London and tap the UK’s deep pool of diverse talent to hire advanced technologists with a strong business background,” he said.

Citi’s markets and securities services business has bolstered its FinTech investment in recent years after participating in major funding rounds for blockchain technology providers Cobalt and R3.

The bank became one of the launch clients for Cobalt’s FX post-trade service which operates on a private peer-to-peer blockchain enabled network.