At the heart of Scotland's financial services sector
The financial services sector in Scotland employs 91,000 people, generates £9.2 billion GVA and accounts for around 10% of the Scottish economy, with the sector being located principally in the central belt. Scotland’s reputation and track record as a location for value, expertise, innovation and thought-leadership ensures that the country remains a hugely attractive proposition for businesses and investors from all over the globe.
Within Scotland, Stirling provides one of the best placed locations for those looking to prosper in the financial services sector. Companies locating here will benefit from an excellent business infrastructure and skills base at a more competitive cost compared to major cities across Scotland and the UK but without any compromises.
Stirling's Financial Services Sector
Stirling is a city with a strong pedigree in financial services. There are currently 335 businesses operating in the sector accounting for 8% of the total employment in the area, which is the second highest percentage in Scotland. Major players in the area are Capita, The Prudential, which has a large and well established base in Stirling, and US firm International Financial Data Services (IFDS).
Capita has an award-winning contact centre in Stirling which is the largest of its kind in the UK, handling over 1 million inbound calls and more than 2 million customer transactions every year. From Craigforth, Prudential delivers several business areas including operations, retail life, pensions and shared services. IFDS employ 500 people at Castle Business Park and recently announced the creation of a further 100 jobs.
In addition the banking sector and a variety of business support services are also well represented and are significant employers including Handelsbanken who continued their expansion into Scotland with the opening of their branch in Stirling.
Talent and Workforce
Critical to successful financial services business is access to a highly qualified workforce. The sector requires access to high calibre managerial and professional workers as well as to a steady pipeline of graduate talent. Indeed, 23% of the sector’s workforce are managers and senior officials. This is substantially higher than the Scottish economy as a whole where 8% of employment is within this occupational group.
No area in Scotland caters to this requirement better than Stirling as our residents tend to be more highly skilled than the rest of Scotland and the area has the hhighest percentage of employees who are managers, directors and senior officials in Scotland (13.4%).
Stirling’s current population is 91,260, a figure projected to grow by almost 17% over the next 20 years. Stirling’s central position also places nearly 3 million people within an hour’s drive of the city which ensures businesses in Stirling benefit from access to a huge potential workforce providing all the skills, diversity and flexibility that they could possibly need.
The percentage of Stirling’s residents with qualifications at SVQ level 3 or above is above the national average. In addition over one third of Stirling’s working age residents have HND/degree level qualifications.
The University of Stirling has 11,600 students and is ranked 7th in the UK for graduate employability with 96% of students in work within six months of graduating.
In addition to the university the main campus of Forth Valley College is located in the city. The college has 20,000 students currently enrolled across all of its learning programmes.
￭ Local Provision
The University of Stirling's internationally renowned management school delivers degree and masters courses in a wide range of disciplines designed to support the financial services industry. In particular, Stirling’s academic sector produces graduates and post graduates with a strong understanding of the requirements for an increasingly technological sector
Degree courses are taught in; Accounting, Accounting and Finance, Business Studies and Law whilst Masters courses are taught in; Banking and Finance, Big Data, Finance, International Accounting & Finance and Investment Analysis.
Lower level financial qualifications in Accounting and Finance are provided at Forth Valley College providing a pathway between secondary school and university to those wishing to pursue a career in the financial services sector.
￭ Wider Talent Pool
It is not just the high quality local workforce that is available to businesses in Stirling however. Stirling’s unrivalled location at the heart of Scotland places a vast potential workforce within easy commuting distance including a huge pool of graduates in financial services related disciplines.
Courses at either Degree or Masters level in; Accounting & Finance, Accounting & Maths, Accounting & Statistics, Law, Applied Mathematics, Banking & Financial Services, Financial Economics, Financial Forecasting & Investment, Financial Modelling, Financial Risk Management, International Banking, Accounting with Corporate Finance, Accounting and Financial Management, Accounting with Law and Accounting & Finance (Islamic Finance) are all taught within a 45 minute drive or rail journey of the city.
￭ The Adam Smith Business School The Adam Smith Business School, at the University of Glasgow, is the second largest business school in the UK and holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (which fewer than 10% of business schools in the world hold). It is home to more than 1,500 postgraduate students in 36 master programmes and six PhD programmes. There is a heavy research focus on finance, financial economics and accounting.
￭ The Scottish Financial Risk Academy (SFRA) Based in Edinburgh, the Scottish Financial Risk Academy (SFRA) is dedicated to improving the understanding of financial risk through industry-academic interaction. It runs a series of Knowledge Exchange activities, which include biannual Risk Colloquia, Knowledge Transfer Workshops, placements for MSc and PhD students, and postgraduate course modules taught by industry professionals.
￭ Centre for Sustainable Practice and Living The recently launched Centre for Sustainable Practice and Living at Stirling University combines world class expertise in sustainability practice with the wider offer of the Stirling Management School. The centre provides an active hub for innovative research and education and seeks to facilitate meaningful collaborations between academia, industry and the public sector.
Within the financial services sector new geopolitical challenges are emerging alongside the more persistent problems of a low interest rate environment, low growth in the Eurozone, risk and overarching financial services culture.
In response, financial services organisations increasingly merge their sustainability and traditional business strategies. Businesses across the industry have accepted that to achieve long-term, stable and secure growth they must incorporate and anticipate the key sustainability opportunities, risks and behaviours. In Stirling there is world class support on the doorstep to support your sustainability agenda.