Financial Services most desired destination for career changers, but retention challenge remains for sector

Over a third of workers (35%) from across the economy will start looking for a new career in the next year due to the rising cost of living.

Over a third of workers (35%) from across the economy will start looking for a new career

  • Over a third of workers (35%) from across the economy will start looking for a new career in the next year due to the rising cost of living
  • Financial Services firms are focusing on boosting personal fulfilment to retain and attract talent
  • 24% want more flexibility regarding working from home arrangements

Almost a quarter (23%) of individuals looking to change career would consider working in financial services, making it the joint most popular sector alongside professional services for individuals considering a career change according to new data from KPMG UK*.

The desire to change career appears to be trending across the UK’s workforce, with over a third (35%) of workers throughout the economy considering new careers because of the rising cost of living, up from 31% during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

The three most popular reasons why individuals would consider a career in financial services include high salary and bonus expectations (58%), a good work life balance (43%) and that the topic sounds interesting (36%).

However, despite being an aspirational sector to work in, a significant proportion (42%) of Financial Services workers will be looking to change career themselves within a year, down slightly from 44% in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Among Financial Services workers looking for a new career, 30% want improved salary and benefits, 23% want more job security and 20% want more flexibility regarding working from home arrangements.

Karim Haji, Head of Financial Services at KPMG UK, said: “Given the rising cost of living and the broader economic uncertainty, it makes sense that many individuals will be considering their current roles, career choices and where they live and work. This will provide a great opportunity for Financial Services firms to target talent, but also make sure that they are better demonstrating the benefits of working in the sector and their improved proposition for employees. Doing so will help firms attract and retain the best talent.

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“Encouragingly, the number of financial services workers looking to change career has dropped slightly since the Covid-19 pandemic. Many financial services firms have already offered pay rises to their employees, but as important to many are the other benefits which firms have invested in to boost personal fulfilment, such as more training, mobility and development opportunities.

“In the competition for talent, Financial Services firms should consider extending the scope of their search to include non-traditional pools of talent which can help boost diversity and inclusion. This could mean investing more in return-to-work, military transition, apprenticeships or school leaver programmes.

“Since the Covid-19 pandemic, many Financial Services firms have also made positive changes to their working practices, including dropping some of their more conservative employee policies in line with other sectors. This will go some way in tackling outdated perceptions of the industry and help to attract a more diverse workforce.”

The main reason why individuals wouldn’t want to work in financial services is because they don’t know enough about the sector or what job opportunities there are (32%). Long hours (23%) and the belief that the topic sounds boring (29%) were other prominent reasons why individuals would not want to work in financial services.

Karim added: “There is a huge diversity of roles within the financial services sector, and I’d encourage prospective applicants to do their research and not be put off by old fashioned stereotypes.”




Notes to Editors

*Research conducted between 21st and 29th June 2022, by Onepoll. We surveyed 1,500 members of the UK workforce, including 600 employees working within financial services.

Media contact:

For further information please contact:

KPMG Media Relations

Gerard Swinley

M: +44 7510 375540

About KPMG:

KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 15,300 partners and staff.  The UK firm recorded a revenue of £2.43 billion in the year ended 30 September 2021.

KPMG is a global organisation of independent professional services firms providing Audit, Legal, Tax and Advisory services. It operates in 145 countries and territories with more than 236,000 partners and employees working in member firms around the world. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such. KPMG International Limited is a private English company limited by guarantee. KPMG International Limited and its related entities do not provide services to clients.