Simon Thompson, Chief Executive, Chartered Banker Institute

Why Scotland plays an important role in the global financial sector.

Simon Thompson Chartered Banker Institute


Chartered Banker Institute's global reputation

“For centuries bankers from around the world have been trained in Scotland. This is why a lot of international banks are keen to work with the Institute. We increasingly see overseas banking professionals training qualifying as Chartered Bankers because this represents a ‘gold standard’ for professional banking qualifications.

“There are nearly 300 banking leaders from 30 countries taking the Global Chartered Banker MBA approved qualification. The Institute is the awarding body and standard setter for training programmes around the globe, most notably in Malaysia, Ireland, Hong Kong, Pakistan and some Gulf States. It plays a crucial role in ensuring excellence worldwide and keeps Scotland and the UK firmly on the international banking map.”

The banking industry in Scotland

“Scotland has a long and proud history of innovation in financial services. Historically, Scottish bankers have been known around the world for their prudence, professionalism and expertise.”

Since the banking crisis, many new challenger banks, like Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Virgin, have all chosen to base their businesses in Scotland, which speaks volumes.

“We also have more banks present in Scotland, with likes of Handelsbanken, HSBC, Santander and TSB having significant and growing operations here. The main reason for this is the sheer number of qualified, skilled professionals in Scotland. Not just in banking, but in the broader financial sector.

“There’s a high standard of graduates coming out of Scottish universities too. It’s something that we seem to be good at, particularly in certain areas like risk.”

Working in financial services in Scotland

“Across the world, there is shortage of risk and compliance professionals, and Scotland is no exception. We tend to think of banking as dealers in the city of London, but there’s a huge need for people who work in the retail and commercial side of banking.

When you’re looking for work, don’t just look in your own sector. It’s a wide market – think broadly about where your skills could take you, beyond the borders of your own banking sector.”

“The wide range of financial businesses in Scotland is a major advantage. There are opportunities in small and large organisations here. The smaller organisations can sometimes offer more chances for you to grow your career.”

Living in Scotland

“I think the big thing that brings people here is the quality of life.

It’s not just about the career choices in the financial sector. In a smaller community people know each other, so arguably you may be more likely to find opportunities through your industry contacts. Plus, in global terms, you’re not far away from financial centres like London.”

Get more information on the Chartered Banker Institute.

Our perfect mix of home-grown and international businesses means you have your pick of leading financial services companies to work for in Scotland. 

Find out more about Scotland's financial service industry.