According to widely reported research by KPMG in 2019, 41% of employees in the financial services sector are following in their parents’ footsteps – more than three times the national average for other sectors. This limited level of social mobility, defined by the UK government as “the link between a person’s occupation or income and the occupation or income of their parents”, prompted us to commission research into five different groups – parents, teachers, firms, our members, and the financial services community – to gather data on and better understand the barriers and access to our sector.
Our special report on social mobility includes the survey results from the first three groups – 513 teachers, 1,013 parents, and around 40 firms – on the value of work experience and how it can provide access to a career in financial services. It reveals that 77% of parents with children at independent/private schools say their children are aware of financial services as a career path, compared to 50% with children at local authority schools. It also reveals that “parents and teachers think professional qualifications in financial services are more important than university qualifications in financial services”.
Mark Yallop, chair of the Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodities Markets Standards Board, may have graduated from Oxford University in 1982 with a degree in natural sciences, but he decided to “do something different” and proceeded to build a successful career in financial services off the back of a graduate traineeship with Barings Bank in the City. Read his profile interview on pages 32–34.
Other highlights include an ethical dilemma about workplace ‘banter’, a look at new rules on defined benefit pension transfers and their impact on the advice process, and insight into the origins and implications of Gresham’s Law, by Alderman Michael Mainelli, Chartered FCSI(Hon).
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