Banking and financial services is a hugely dynamic and interesting sector. The dynamism and breadth of the industry opens up an enormous range of opportunities for newly qualified accountants. Whether supporting a specific trading desk, working in a strategic management reporting role, conducting reviews of banking operations, or advising on tactical systems development, the accountant’s role is an exciting and innovative one.
When investment banks recruit accountants from the profession, they are as interested in a candidate’s potential as in what they can do already. Accountants with excellent analytical ability, interpersonal skills and a commercial, business-minded approach are much in demand. The City is an environment where such people are encouraged to succeed; a genuine meritocracy where these skills are recognised.
Our clients are looking at many of the recruits at this level as the future leaders and shapers of the finance division and are continuously looking to identify and attract new talent.
What does financial services cover?
The financial services sector incorporates not only the major investment and retail banks but also specialist boutique financial services providers, investment management and private equity.
What types of positions are available?
Business analysts, business partners, product controllers, financial controllers (covering management reporting and financial accounting), accounting policy, project managers and internal auditors.
What experience is required?
First and foremost our clients are looking for aptitude and enthusiasm to work in the banking arena, previous financial services experience is NOT essential. Those who choose a mainstream financial role will not be required to have any previous experience of banking, nor need an in depth knowledge of financial instruments. Those who want to secure a technical role relating to the bank’s products may need to investigate the actual banking business, and the nature and dynamics of financial instruments, but again many clients are open-minded on backgrounds. A strong academic profile is important as well as excellent communication skills.
What career path can you expect within financial services?
A key focus within the financial services is enabling each individual to reach their maximum potential through planned progressive career development. You will learn about different areas of the firm, improving your knowledge and skills. All of our clients advertise opportunities internally and proactively encourage internal progression.
Will I be expected to work long hours and during the weekends?
The standard hours for an individual working within finance are 8.30am to 6.30pm. There will be flexibility required and these may extend, in particular during the month and year-end periods. However, all the banks are focused on achieving a good work/life balance, with many of the banks introducing a flexible working policy.