Why you should consider a career in Cardiff’s thriving financial services sector


December 2, 2019


Marcus Taylor

We take a look at how Cardiff's growing financial services sector benefits job seekers.

Cardiff’s financial services sector has been booming for several years now, making it an inviting entry point for graduates and an attractive option for career changers.

The city is home to leading financial service businesses including Optimum Credit, Admiral, Atradius, Hodge Bank, Principality Building Society and Legal and General. This means a good range of roles at all levels.

What’s more, the sector offers job seekers tempting benefits with strong career progression, transferable skills to other industries and above-average salaries.

The rise of the financial services sector in Cardiff

A flourishing digital scene and strong government support make Cardiff enticing for finance firms.

Business Wales reported that ‘Wales has the fastest growing digital economy outside of London’. This coupled with the growth of the financial and professional sector has led to a thriving Fintech presence. Fintech Wales, a trade association, was set up in April 2019 to further champion the Fintech and Financial Services industry in Wales.

Cardiff’s finance sector is well supported by the Welsh Assembly. They set up the Central Cardiff Enterprise Zone to help attract businesses in key sectors including financial services.

Their vision is ‘to make Wales the most competitive region in the UK for Financial and Professional Services outside London by 2021’

Plus, they are committed to growing employment in the Financial and Professional Services Sector

‘We plan to grow this from 124,000, representing 16% of total employment in Wales to 200,000 by 2021’

Further Job growth will occur as firms and employees move out of London

Driven by reduced overheads and regional grants domestic banking and insurance firms will increasingly relocate their headquarters to major cities like Cardiff. According to a recent report from Savills Cardiff’s office rents are some of the most affordable in the UK.

In January 2019 challenger bank Monzo announced they will create over 300 jobs over the next four years in Cardiff. They’re the first challenger bank to nearshore to Wales from London. While Lloyds, Barclays and HSBC already have a significant presence in South Wales.

Meanwhile, lower costs of living will further fuel the movement of jobseekers and employees out of London and into other UK regional centres.

The skills shortage will deepen 

The finance industry has so far, struggled to adapt to the changing needs of a young and diverse workforce. Millennials demand opportunities to learn and develop while prioritising fulfilling work. These characteristics differ from previous generations and require financial firms to attract and retain top talent through innovation, disruption and flexibility within the industry.

The Welsh Financial Services Graduate Programme

This fully-funded programme offers participants a tremendous path into Wales’ financial services sector.

There are two schemes. One in Financial Services management and the other Data Science. Each two-year programme combines three employer placements with studying for an MSc.

During these placements, the graduates are trained and work with team colleagues on real-world business problems and projects. This gives them unique insight into different business types, cultures and methods of working to develop a fully rounded skill set in financial services management or data science and enables them to make a more informed choice regarding their future career.

Typical job roles include project management, strategic planning, human resources, financial accounting, European finance, change management, Statistical Modeller, Data Engineer, Quantitative Analyst, Credit Risk Analyst, Pricing Analyst, and Marketing Analyst.

We’ve had great success developing and recruiting talented graduates through the scheme.

Careers with Optimum Credit

Since writing our first loan in 2014 Optimum Credit has rapidly risen to become the UK’s leading second charge mortgage lender.

Our continued growth means we’ve got vacancies for talented people to join us in a variety of roles.

You can find more about the benefits of working for us on our careers page.

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