Financial services remains a bright spot for Delaware

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Good afternoon,

It wasn’t that long ago that some in Delaware’s gloom and doom crowd were predicting that the state’s financial service industry was on the bubble.

Their argument – the quality of life was low, the state’s taxes were too high and the government was not sufficiently pro-business.

The chicken little predictions proved to be wrong. The industry, while seeing a decline in jobs since March, due in large part to Covid-19, remains one of the stronger sectors of the state’s economy.

That status was bolstered by news that financial services giant Goldman Sachs, will open a small operation on the Wilmington Riverfront, according to a story in Delaware Online (subscription required).

Earlier, Barclays decided to add jobs in Wilmington, after moving some operations to a northern New Jersey site that had received a heavy dose of state incentives.

Goldman Sachs already has a small trust operation in the Bellevue area north of Wilmington.

Goldman Sachs, best known as a deal-making investment banker, has expanded into consumer-based businesses that include the Apple credit card as well as Marcus savings accounts and personal loans. Barclays, meanwhile, is losing the Apple business but has seen growth elsewhere.

The drawing card for Goldman appears to be a lower cost of living by East Coast standards and more importantly a skilled workforce that has navigated through the many changes that have taken place in the industry.

The news isn’t entirely positive. While we are seeing more financial technology “fintech” jobs, the number of early-stage fintech start-ups remains on the low side.

Also, the jobs created tend to be lower-level positions that will not boost the state’s slow growth in average incomes.

Still, the most recent announcements offer more evidence that the financial services sector remains vital to the state’s economic future. – Doug Rainey, chief content officer.

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