Could you be one of the two million people employed in the finance sector? Discover what it's like to work in the industry
Employment opportunities in accountancy, banking and finance are grouped into:
There are about 34,000 businesses providing financial services, such as banking, insurance and financial advice, and more than 37,000 businesses registered to provide accountancy services, including audit, assurance, tax and advisory services.
For examples of job roles in this sector, see graduate jobs in accountancy and finance.
The 'big four' accountancy and financial services firms are:
In retail banking, employers include well-known high street brands, such as:
In investment banking, large companies include:
The main insurance companies include:
Many of the bigger financial companies are multinational and opportunities exist to work overseas, although this may depend upon having additional skills or competences, such as languages.
In the UK, there are far more small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) than large companies and this type of employer provides good prospects for graduates, although recruitment, selection and training arrangements may not be as formal.
SMEs in the financial sector provide support for professional training and development and are likely to provide a more varied experience of work.
Graduate jobs in accountancy exist within charities and not-for-profit organisations but the majority of opportunities in this sector are in profit-generating businesses.
Graduates working in financial and accountancy professions can expect:
To find out more about typical salaries and working conditions in your chosen career, see types of jobs.
Despite job cuts in the banking sector during the recession, the future looks positive for the professional services, with finance and accountancy leading the recovery.
7% of all UK employment belongs to the financial services sector and while it's often assumed that most of these jobs are centred in London and the South East over half are in other regions across the country.
Although London dominates as a global finance centre, other cities such as Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester have flourishing financial centres.
On 1 April 2013, the government established the Prudential Regulation Authority which is responsible for the supervision of more than 1,700 firms, including banks, building societies, and credit unions. The aim is to reduce the likelihood of failure and ensure a healthy and successful economy for the future.
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