Utah leads nation in financial industry growth

Over the past ten years, Utah has become a leader in growth in the financial services industry.

From traditional financial institutions to emerging fintech companies, Utah’s financial services industry growth is unmatched. Utah also leads the nation in industrial banks by being one of only seven States that can charter an industrial bank, with eight of the top ten banks nationally by asset value.

One factor attributed to Utah’s financial growth is the state’s affordability and talent pool. Companies such as Goldman Sachs expanded operations in Utah because of their ability to attract top talent to a lower cost market.

“What we’re finding as a firm is that there’s a huge population of people who want the global investment bank experience, but don’t necessarily want to work in New York or San Francisco,” said David Lang, the partner in charge of the Utah Goldman Sachs office. “They want the professional experience of working for a global investment bank, but they want the lifestyle associated with Utah and the outdoors.”

Goldman Sachs’ original office in Utah opened in 2000 with 100 employees. Today, there are around 2,350 employees, making it Goldman Sachs’ second-largest office in the U.S. and growing.

In addition to the influx of traditional financial services, Utah is seeing growth from emerging industries such as fintech. SoFi and Earnest—two financial technology lenders that are disrupting wealth and loan management—both expanded to Utah from their Silicon Valley locations just this year.

“Utah has become a thriving hub for both technology and financial services companies, with a deep talent pool across multiple areas that is complementary to what we see in San Francisco,” said Louis Beryl, CEO and co-founder of Earnest.

Companies are finding they can get Silicon Valley talent without the high price tag. According to EDCUtah President and CEO Theresa Foxley, talent is the number one decision driver for many companies that relocate to Utah.

“We compete very well on the number one issue that most companies are looking at in their site selection—talent,” said Foxley. “Secondarily, they are going to look at bottom line factors like labor costs, lease rates, tax environment, and other operational costs. We compete very well on cost.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Salt Lake City leads the nation with 20.89 percent growth in the financial services industry since 2007. Financial trends indicate this growth will only improve in upcoming years for Utah.