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The financial industry is the UK's largest sector contributing vast amounts to the economy of the United Kingdom. The finance sector alone paid more than £63 billion in tax revenues last year making up more than one tenth of all taxes paid.
The United Kingdom is the seventh largest economy in the world and the financial industry is a cornerstone of this placement.
London represents the biggest financial centre in the world followed by New York and then Tokyo.
London and the United Kingdom are the world leaders in insurance, Eurobonds, foreign exchange trading and energy futures.
Despite London's top position as a financial centre, the UK has been hit hard by the recession and so bankers and the sector as a whole, is often cast in a negative light by the media.
However, there are predictions that the UK is gradually recovering from the recession, and there are many opportunities for bright and skilled young people in the industry.
There are more than two million people employed in the finance industry in the UK, which is split up into different job paths which involve working with money.
These job paths include banking, accountancy and insurance and pensions. Within each of these job paths are professions who work to plan and predict financial situations as well as those who manage other people's financial situations and bank accounts.
1 million people who work in audit, tax and accountancy businesses as well as in financial functions within other organisations. Whilst those who work for banks and building societies help individuals and organisations to manage money, access loans and conduct business in the UK and overseas.
The insurance job path includes jobs which work closely with other professionals, such as doctors, lawyers and fire officers, to gather evidence to assess risk and resolve claims against insurance policies.
For more in-depth information on the the different job paths within Finance, please follow the below links:
Securing a career in finance can be tough, particularly in the big, famous financial organisations. A high level of numeracy is required for almost all job within the finance industry, so higher education qualifications are recommended.
Graduate schemes are offered by all the largest employers, which are notoriously competitive to secure a place on. Relevant degrees in Maths, Economics or Accountancy are likely to be a prerequisite for entry onto the major graduate training schemes, but there are other entry options available for those who do not wish to study at university.
For administrative roles within customer services at financial organisations, GCSEs, NVQ 2 or equivalent, or A levels, NVQ3 or equivalent would enable entry.
Apprenticeships and Advanced Apprenticeships are available for Providing Financial Services and Advising on Financial Products and some people will be able to gain entry to the industry with A-levels or foundation degrees, provided that they undertake professional qualifications.
A lot of financial workers are based around Canary Wharf and the city of London, due to it being the financial hub of the UK. The Square Mile, as it is known, comes with its own reputation for success, drive and ambition. The city is synonymous with hard work, long hours and high pressure.
Whilst a lot of companies are based in London, there are branches located across the UK and in all the major cities. The financial sector can be a tough industry to get into and even harder to succeed in.