MANY talented Hampshire people are shunning London in order to work in Southampton, according to the boss of one of the city’s best-known employers.

Anne Boden, chief executive of Starling Bank – which employs 330 people at Town Quay – said people were discovering they could have satisfying careers without going to the capital.

The digital challenger bank opened a Southampton office in 2019 and took on an extra 100 staff between 2021-22.

Speaking to journalists from all over the country while visiting the Town Quay site, Ms Boden said: “I like Southampton and an awful lot of our executive and our management like to come on their off-sites to Southampton.

“We’re always looking for talent and we feel that there is enough.

“We see that lots of people, instead of wanting to go into London from Hampshire, instead of going north, come into Southampton instead – and you can have a good job with a forward-looking company that’s really tech-savvy and really wanting to do interesting things and you can have it outside London.”

All Starling staff are attached to an office, but many work remotely or in hybrid patterns.

Ms Boden said it was not yet clear how much time people would be spending in offices in future.

She said: “There are a lot of conversations about what are firms going to do. Is it going to be five days in the office? Is it going to be five days at home? Is it going to be hybrid? Are people at different stages of their life going to choose different things?

“You can’t decide what to do unless the people themselves have decided what they want to do and I don’t think the majority of people have made that decision themselves.

“I think that we probably need probably a year, post restrictions being lifted, for people to settle back into how they want to live their lives. They’ll decide how they want to live their lives and then firms have to react.

“I think a lot of places outside London have great ways of people combining a great life with work and a bit of that’s in the office, a bit of that’s in home, but places like Southampton are so near to great countryside. You’ve got wonderful places and it’s a nice place to live.”