The financial services industry employs 25,000 people in Sheffield and earns 12 per cent of its income – but each worker helps sustain up to four more jobs, according to the Lord Mayor of the City of London.
Alan Yarrow said the sector should be celebrated, who is visiting the region today, said: “Sheffield has a vibrant financial services sector and normally it’s the sector that picks up quickly. We ought to celebrate how much it pumps into the region.
“There is a general feeling that the City does well when Sheffield does well. We need to get the regions to participate in growth.”
The Lord Mayor is set to visit Owen Springs in Rotherham and have a Q&A with local businesses. He will attend the Forfeit Feast at the Cutlers’ Hall in the evening.
Leaving Europe would not be the end of the City of London as a global financial centre, he added.
It would “find somewhere else to go” if the UK votes to leave the European Union. The Government has promised an in-out referendum by the end of 2017.
The Lord Mayor acts as an ambassador for the UK’s financial and professional services.
He added: “Don’t think for one second if we came out of Europe all the business would go to Frankfurt or New York. If we come out Europe suffers as much as we do.
“We will find somewhere else to go, we’ve been around for 2,000 years and it’s not as if the European Union has been around very long.
“We have 65 million mouths to feed, a small manufacturing base, little agricuture, we’d have to do what we always do – get out and trade.”
But he said 84 per cent of City of London businesses wanted to stay in a reformed Europe.
He added: “I don’t think leaving would do anyone any good. We have a market of 500m people on our doorstep and trade barriers would not help.
“And what would it cost to leave? No one has asked that. All the legislation would have to be rewritten and it would cost as much as it did to put in. It’s a 10-year project.”