The financial services sector is undoubtedly one of the most vibrant throughout the United Kingdom. With so many unique opportunities, it is no surprise that a significant amount of budding professionals choose this industry. It is still prudent to take a quick look at how this sector is evolving as well as what can be expected in terms of the coming financial year.

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A Lucrative Profession

It is first important to note the average salaries for the 2015 pay period. Please observe that these are approximations which take into account various regions throughout the United Kingdom and that figures may indeed vary depending upon the specific company and any perks (such as bonuses and overtime). A quick breakdown of some of the most common professions can be seen as follows:

  • Equity research associate: £50,000 pounds.

  • Compliance specialist: £33,309 pounds.

  • Financial accountant: £28,271 pounds.

  • Account manager: £26,593 pounds.

Although there is an obvious disparity in regards to pay scales, it should still be clear that there are a number of unique opportunities within this constantly evolving field.

The Current Environment

Due in part to the pronounced recession that the United Kingdom endured during the past few years, the entire financial services industry has had to substantially evolve. Regulations are now much more stringent when compared to the past and compliance with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is now embraced across the industry. One of the most significant results of this paradigm shift is the requirement for candidates to possess both experience and a solid work ethic. In simpler terms, the days of the “fly-by-night” trader are now extinct.

Outlook

As should be expected, there are certain sectors, which are expected to perform phenomenally well during the 2016 financial year. A handful of these include (but are by no means limited to):

  • Mergers and acquisitions (M&A).

  • Business analyses.

  • Big data interpretation.

  • Strategic planning.

  • Peer-to-peer lending.


Interestingly enough, recent figures have shown that no less than 57 per cent of small- to medium-sized businesses are willing to add new positions to their current workforce in the near future.

Salary Trends

One of the most important areas which needs to be addressed is that which concerns the projected salary growth during the next year. It should come as no great surprise that these figures will directly correlate with specific regions throughout the United Kingdom. Major urban centres will obviously boast a significant amount of growth. For instance, London is expected to experience variations as much as 100 per cent. Edinburgh ranks second with 80.2 per cent while Manchester takes a respectable third place with 75.9 per cent. It should be mentioned that these are variations from the norm as opposed to salary increases alone.

Hands-On Customer Behaviour

The financial services industry has become much more client-oriented than ever in the past. It is therefore critical to appreciate how customers (or potential clients) respond to a specific product or service. As many studies have illustrated, businesses are using organic data (alongside big data) to better market what it is that they are offering. This makes a great deal of sense as a growing number of companies are now forced to compete within such a diverse sector. It should only be expected that a client-oriented approach will gain momentum. In turn, those with qualified interpersonal skills alongside a bespoke knowledge base should enjoy a lucrative salary.

Premiums and Opportunities

It is prudent to mention that (as always) the financial sector offers an unprecedented opportunity for growth and diversification. In fact, it has been shown that professionals have been offered between 10 and 15 per cent of a pay rise to relocate to other firms. As the salaries across the board are expected to rise by no less than 6.6 per cent during 2016, it only makes sense that such a sense of competition exists. In terms of a base salary, there is indeed a welcome opportunity for those with the skills to exceed.

Growth and Demand

Within the financial services sector, projections often define the future. Thus, the news that the British Chambers of Commerce have projected further growth during 2016 will likely signify further progress. Those who are looking for a career within the financial services industry should rightfully be enthusiastic.

Ultimately, this field is now defined by an increasing amount of specialisation. Salaries will understandably vary, but the fact of the matter is that this line of work can indeed prove to be rewarding. It is therefore critical to keep abreast of the latest trends as well as to understand where this dynamic sector may be headed.