MORE than 18,000 jobs in Bournemouth and Poole depend on the financial services sector, a report says.

The study says employment in the sector is growing but that it “should not be taken for granted”.

A report by industry lobby group TheCityUK says 8,225 people are directly employed in financial services in Bournemouth, where famous names include JPMorgan, Nationwide, Ageas and Arthur J Gallagher.

Another 3,150 are employed in the related professional services of accountancy, management consultancy and legal service, taking the total to 11,375 – or 13.1 per cent of the working population.

In Poole, 4,685 are directly employed in banking, insurance, fund management and other financial services. Employment in related services takes the total to 7,085, or 8.5 per cent of jobs.

The report by TheCityUK, called Enabling Growth Across the UK 2019, outlines 15 policy recommendations to bolster the industry. These focus on collaboration between industry, regulators and policymakers to ensure that the business environment supports competitiveness.

Miles Celic, chief executive of TheCityUK, said: “This industry is vital for job creation and driving economic output to all parts of the UK, as well as contributing billions in tax revenue. London is central to the UK’s strong position, but it is clear that the many thriving regional and national centres are an essential part of its success – the South West being a particular case in point.

“But, this should not be taken for granted. Ensuring the industry’s future as a national asset will require a concerted effort. This includes more regionally focused policies and initiatives, greater focus on developing specialist centres and sectors, a more competitive business environment and enhanced engagement between government and industry.”

The sector is worth £879million in gross value added (GVA) in Bournemouth, or 16.3 per cent of the town’s total GVA In Poole, the figure is £516m, or 16.3 per cent.

There are 8,870 jobs in the sector in the parliamentary seat of Bournemouth West, where Brexiter Conor Burns is the MP, and 5,720 in Bournemouth East, represented by government minister Tobias Ellwood. In Poole, represented by Leave supporter Sir Robert Syms, the figure is 3,690.

Across the south west region, employment in financial and related professional services grew by 4.4 per cent, or 7,000 jobs, in 2016 and 2017, the report says, while it fell by 1.3 per cent in London and the South East. The figure is not broken down into local areas.