Industry sectors

Retail banking

Banks are really quite odd beasts; they all do more or less the same things, but that doesn't mean they are all the same!
A bit of theory: banking is about transforming money. In one sense the transformation is between people - banks enable people to exchange value in the form of cash, cheques, card payments, etc. Read more

Investment banking

Investment banking is crucial to the UK economy. It is rooted in the country's historic role as the dominant power in world trade. To facilitate this trade, the City of London developed markets - opportunities to buy and sell for every tradable product. This in turn led banks from across the globe to congregate in London to participate in those markets. Read more

Insurance

There are dozens of sub-divisions within the insurance industry and they operate in very different ways. The industry is usually broken down into two key areas:

  • Life assurance companies offer life insurance, pensions and annuity products and are part of the long-term savings and investment market.
  • Non-life or general insurance companies provide all other forms of insurance: mainly those policies that protect you against an event such as crashing your car or your house burning down. Read more

Business and corporate banking

It should be no surprise to hear that the biggest users of banking services are companies. They need an enormous number of different services from their banks.

  • They need to borrow money to set up or expand their businesses.
  • They need to be able to take payments from their customers in the form of cash, cheques, cards and electronic payments.
  • They need to pay their staff.
  • They need to pay suppliers.
  • They need insurance policies.
  • They need to manage their cash balances and make a return on them.
  • If they export, they need foreign exchange. Read more.

Investment management

Investment management is an odd sector. At one level it seems very diverse, but on another, it all seems very similar!
Investment management is about investing large pots of other people's money to make a profit for them, for your institution (though usually this will be based on a set fee), and for yourself as the fund manager (in the form of performance bonuses). Read more.