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Financial services jobs ‘heavily skewed’ to private schools

Financial services jobs are “heavily skewed” towards applicants who are privately educated as new research lays bare the extent of jobs going to those who attended fee-paying schools.

The study, Pathways to Banking by The Boston Consulting Group, published today, shows financial services massively outstrips the 7 per cent of people in UK private education.

The Sutton Trust commissioned BCG to carry out the study, which examined 500 leaders and 1,800 new recruits in the financial services, as part of a campaign to improve social mobility in UK banking.

The BCG study found 34 per cent of recent intakes and 51 per cent of leaders in the banking sector went to independent schools.

For the financial services sector as a whole including banking, insurance, hedge funds and asset management and private equity firms, 37 per cent of recent intakes and 60 per cent of leaders were independently educated.

Within financial services, private equity and asset management are the most privileged sectors by background.

Nearly seven in 10 private equity leaders and six in 10 asset management leaders went to independent schools while only 15 per cent and 11 per cent of leaders respectively went to comprehensives. The rest went to selective schools.

The proportions of leaders who went to independent schools for insurance and banking were 61 per cent and 51 per cent respectively, while 27 per cent of insurance leaders and 39 per cent of banking leaders attended a state comprehensive.

By comparison, previous Sutton Trust research shows 35 per cent of MPs, 51 per cent of doctors, 54 per cent of leading news journalists and 70 per cent of High Court judges are privately educated.

The study calls on banks to widen its recruitment net beyond private schools and top universities and contact young people earlier.

The report states: ”Recruitment in the financial services sector is heavily skewed towards those with an independent-school and elite university background, particularly at senior levels, while students from modest backgrounds and non- elite universities play a disproportionately small role.”


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