The banking and financial services covers many types of businesses involved in managing finances and investments and plays a vital role in the world’s economy. The industry is vast and includes companies engaged in activities such as retail banking, investment banking, lending, insurance, securities trading and issuance, asset management, corporate advisor, accounting, foreign exchange, and more. Many people study while working – many part-time and distance learning options are available in banking, investment management, insurance and risk management, and financial management.
Professional qualifications in finance – for example, CFA, ACT, CFP, CII, IFA – can open employment opportunities, while guiding you down a clearly mapped-out career path.
Level 2: GCSE (5 C-A*)
Level 3-4: A-Level, BTEC, Diploma, Apprenticeship
Level 5-6: University Degree, Degree Apprenticeship, HND
Level 7: Master’s Degree
Become a financial services professional
A financial services professional provides research and information to help in making investment trading, fund management and stock broking decisions. The information provided ensures investment portfolios are well managed and that potential investment opportunities are highlighted.
Some professional work for investment management companies, providing information to in-house fund managers: others work for stockbrokers and investment banks, where research is needed by portfolio managers or by clients who make their own investment decisions.
Some Investment Analysts are likely to research investments globally.
Types of financial services roles include:
Retail/Commercial Banker/Relationship Manager
Stock Broker/Trader/Investment Analyst/Fund Manager
Actuary/Pension Professional/Underwritter/Risk Manager/Analyst
Welath Manager/Financial Adviser/Paraplanner
Corporate Finance Manager
Typical starting salaries for entry-level trainees range from £15,000 to £28,000. After five to eight years, salaries rise above £30,000. Salaries vary significantly according to the nature and size of the company and the location.
General career development routes include:
Starting your career as an trainee with the aim of becoming an associate in a in a speciality
Progress to management, supervising others and taking on responsibility for a financial services area
Becoming a manager in charge of a specific department/fund, e.g. a bank, insurance company or pension fund
Moving into directorship/senior executive roles.
A day in the life of a financial services professional
Financial Services Professionals become involved in a broad range of activities and disciplines, which vary according to the nature of the employer. They should have a developed understanding of financial information, such as financial statements, company accounts and sector data.
A day in the life of a Investment Analyst consists of the following:
Analysing financial information relating to specific companies, e.g. company results, profit and loss, balance sheet and cash flow statements to determine how an organisation is positioned to deliver for investors.
Keeping up to date with market developments, new investment products and other areas that can affect the market
Drafting and writing research reports for fund manager or client use.
Meeting with and providing information to fund managers- summary of research, investment ideas and key events
Making recommendations for fund managers.
Ensuring that all compliance regulations are met.
Typical Entry Level / Apprenticeship / Level-6/Degree Apprenticeship Roles: Trainee/Junior:
Economist, Private Banker, Investment Analyst, Economic Advisor, Stockbroker, Commodity Broker, Pensions Specialist, Underwriter, Corporate Finance Accountant, Finance Manager, Fund Accountant, Fund Manager, Corporate Banker, Financial Adviser, Insurance/ Mortgage Underwriting Associate, Investment Consultant, Operational Research Scientist, Statistician, Financial Services Software Developer, Stockbroker, Trading Data Analyst, Technical Consultant, Paraplanner, Claims Manager, Claims Inspector, Loss Adjuster, Risk Analyst/Surveyor, Financial Services Product Manager, Business Development Manager, Management/Risk/Actuarial Consultant, Pensions Manager/Administrator, Employee Benefits Consultant
What employers look for:
• Strong quantitative/numerical/mathematical skills
• Analytical & problem-solving skills and intellectual curiosity
• Innovation, initiative and entrepreneurial skills
• Attention to detail and high degree of accuracy
• Collaboration and team-working skills
• People & customer services skills
• Resilience, ability to deal with complex situations and work under pressure
• Enthusiasm, loyalty, diplomacy and professional integrity
What can make good candidates stand out
• Passion for quality and zero tolerance for mistakes
• Broad-mindedness, a strategic eye on the future and a global outlook
• Advanced commercial awareness and industry expertise
• High levels of financial and business knowledge
• Improved attention to detail
• Build on your analytical skills and be more observant & inquisitive
• Ethics, confidentiality, integrity and risk awareness
• Ability to communicate in more than one language and cultural awareness
Accenture, Admiral, American Express, Aon, APR, Aviva, AXA, Baillie Gifford & Co, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Bank of England, Bank of Ireland, Barclays, Barnet Waddingham, BDO, BlackRock, Bloomberg, Brewin Dolphin, Broadbridge, Canada Life, Capita, Capital One, Citi, Close Brothers, Co-operative Bank, Credit Suisse, CYBG (inc Clysdesdale, orkshire Bank, Virgin Money), Deloitte, Deutsche Bank, deVere Group, Direct Line, EY, Equiniti, Experian, Fidelity, Finablr plc (inc Travelex), FCA, Goldman Sachs, Government Actuarial Department (GAD), Grant Thornton, Guy Carpenter, Hargreaves Lansdown, Hastings, Hiscox, HM Treasury, Houlihan Lokey, HSBC, Hymans Robertson, IG Group, Investec, J.P. Morgan, Jupiter, KPMG, Lane, Clark & Peacock, Lazard, LCP, Legal & General, Lloyds Banking Group, Lloyd’s of London, London Stock Exchange Group, M & G, Macquarie, Man Group, Marsh & McLennan, Metro Bank, Moody’s, Morgan Stanley, Mercer, MUFG, Munich Re, Nationwide, NFU Mutual, Nomura, ONS, Paragon Banking, Phoenix Group, Provident Financial, Prudential, PwC, Quilter, Rathbone Brothers, Rothschild, Royal Bank of Canada, Royal Bank of Scotland (inc Natwest, Lombard, Ulster Bank, Coutts), RSA Insurance, RSM, RWE Supply & Trading, Sainsbury’s Bank, Sanne Group, Santander, Schroders, Smith & Williamson, Societe Generale, St James’s Place, Standard Chartered, Standard Life Aberdeen, Swiss Re, Tesco Bank,The Pensions Regulator, Tilney Smith & Williamson, UBS, Willis Towers Watson, XPS Pensions Group, Zurich Insurance Group
London & South: £25k – £50k
Midlands: £23k – £48k
North: £20k – £45k
Scotland: £22k – £45k
Wales: £20k – £45k
Northern Ireland: £22k – £45k
Diploma/HND/Bachelor’s Degree in Banking and Finance, Diploma/HND/ Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, Diploma/HND/Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting & Finance, Diploma/ HND/Bachelor’s Degree in Business
Studies, London Institute of Banking & Finance (LIBF), Chartered Financial Analyst Institute (CFA), Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT), Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFA), Chartered Banker Institute (CB), Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment (CISI), Pensions Management Institute (PMI), Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA), Royal Statistical Society (RSC), Institute of
Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), Operational Research Society (ORS), Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters (CILA), Institute of Economic Development (IED), Royal Economic Society (RES), Chartered
Institute of Credit Management (CICM), Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ACA- ICAEW), Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA –
CGMA), Chartered Institute of Public Finance
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