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Financial Services: Thriving in Northern Ireland

Posted date 3 months ago Posted by Kyle Fulton

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Described by Invest Northern Ireland as "an unbeatable combination of world-class talent, highly competitive operating costs and research excellence in a low-risk, pro-business environment", the conditions for creating and sustaining a thriving Financial Services sector in Northern Ireland are prime. 

Kyle Fulton, Principle Consultant for Financial Services, Insurance, and Accountancy and Finance at Staffline Ireland details the recent wins and future opportunities for growth in the sector, looking ahead to 2021 and the strengthening of Belfast's status as a top city for both inward FS investment and local led innovation.


In the last number of years, Northern Ireland has seen major inward investment from a number of global key players like Citi, Rakuten, and Visa to name but a few, all contributing to the region's "entrepreneurial ecosystem". Invest Northern Ireland offers the below key facts for the sector:

  • The region offers a 40% reduction in typical salary costs compared to London and Dublin
  • 39,000 people employed in the Financial & Professional services sector in NI
  • 3,700 graduate in business & technology each year
  • Northern Ireland is the world's top region for FS technology inward investment
  • Belfast ranked in the top 3 Global Fintech locations of the future after London & Singapore in 2019

The 3,700 strong graduate stream is a product of two world class regional universities and a tribute to the strong culture of education in Northern Ireland; with both universities offering students the opportunity to gain hands on experience in their field by creating bespoke learning environments to emulate trading rooms etc. 

This quality of education and training will keep Northern Ireland at the fore of the sector. By creating a large graduate pool of skilled individuals ready to enter the world of work each year, firms can rest assured that they will be able to source the talent needed to set up and grow operations in Northern Ireland. Equally, the role of recruitment agencies in working in partnership with major international employers as well as start ups and homegrown organisations cannot be understated.

With the Financial Times FDI index listing Belfast as a hub for the future of fintech, ranking 3rd in 2019 just after London and Singapore, the intersections between Financial Services and the emerging IT sector in Northern Ireland are becoming increasingly key. The FDI index also ranks Belfast in the top 10 Tech Cities of The Future, ahead of hubs like Zurich and Stockholm, further emphasising the potential for the Fintech revolution to continue in NI, with the Financial Services core going from strength to strength.

Staffline Ireland's Specialist division covers both of these verticals with expertise and offers a comprehensive recruitment solution for companies operating within these intersections and beyond them. 


About the consultant

Kyle Fulton has 10 years experience in the recruitment industry operating as a specialist in the Accountancy & Finance, Financial Services and General Insurance markets. He has been highly successful at identifying the best senior candidates for niche roles including professionally qualified Accountancy, Financial Advisory and Insurance positions across Northern Ireland, and brings his wealth of recruitment experience to the Staffline Ireland Specialist division as a recognised Principle Consultant for his unique specialised vertical.

Kyle can be contacted via email at kyle.fulton@staffline.co.uk or via his LinkedIn profile.