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Financial services

Innovative, resilient, agile

Northern Ireland is a leading global location for financial services investment.

The region is leading the way in providing a wide range of international financial services solutions including fund administration, investment operations, regulatory compliance and risk management, in support of the global capital markets, asset management and banking industries.

Northern Ireland has exceptionally strong credentials in financial services technology and is a European leader in sophisticated software development for major financial institutions worldwide.

A host of global financial services institutions have established operations of scale in Northern Ireland including Allstate, Citi, CME Group, FinTrU, IQ-EQ and TP ICAP.

A dynamic cluster of home-grown companies such as AquaQ Analytics, FD Technologies, Datactics and FSCOM thrive in a supportive entrepreneurial ecosystem in which collaboration and innovation is encouraged and supported by the government.

Download the Northern Ireland FinTech Companies to Watch (PDF)

  • Cost competitive

    40% reduction in typical salary costs compared to London and Dublin (Bond Search & Selection, 2020)

  • High employment

    43,000 people employed in the Financial & Professional services sector (NI BRES 2019 & Invest NI data)

  • Available talent

    5,100 graduates in business & technology each year (HESA)

  • Top location

    The world’s top region for Financial Services technology inward investment projects (FT fDi Markets, 2021)

Areas of expertise

Fintech

Area of sector expertise

  • Banking & capital markets technology
  • RegTech & compliance
  • InsureTech
  • Data analytics & AI
  • Payments & accountstech
  • Funds & wealthtech
  • Cyber security
  • World’s number 1 investment location for financial services technology inward investment projects. (FT fDi Markets, 2021)
  • Highest concentration of fintech employment in the UK - 1 in 5 people working across financial services and tech is working in fintech. (NI Fintech Ecosystem Report, 2020)
  • Belfast is ranked in the top 3 Global Fintech locations of the future after London and Singapore. (FT fDi Markets, 2021)

Asset and wealth management

Area of sector expertise

  • Wealth management
  • Actuarial services
  • Fund administration
  • Home to a cluster of global wealth management, pensions and actuarial service providers.
  • As part of the UK, Northern Ireland operates within its globally respected and robust regulatory framework.  At the same time being located on the island of Ireland has also allowed Northern Ireland easier access to the Irish Financial Services market and enables the region to provide support services to firms in the International Financial Services Centre.
  • Fund administration and depositary services firms including IQ-EQ and Ocorian, deliver fund accounting and admin, client services and compliance for on-shore and off-shore clients.
  • Herbert Smith Freehills and A&L Goodbody deliver a wide range of legal services and advice to clients in the funds and asset management space from Belfast.

Banking and capital markets

Area of sector expertise

  • Trading & banking technologies
  • Risk management
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Data analytics & AI
  • Broking services
  • Over 11,000 people employed in banking and capital markets.
  • Global banks including Santander, BNP Paribas and Lloyds Banking Group have long-established customer service operations in Northern Ireland.
  • Deep expertise in trading and banking technologies - over 2,000 software engineers and systems architects are developing trading technology platforms for global capital markets.
  • Both Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University have trading rooms in collaboration with financial industry partners, offering dynamic learning environments for students to build skills and capabilities under real-time trading conditions.
  • Northern Ireland-based companies are providing consulting services and solutions to Tier 1 investment banks across the globe, in a range of areas including risk and compliance, legal services and innovative technology.

Governance, risk and compliance

Area of sector expertise

  • Regtech
  • Risk management
  • AML & KYC
  • Regulatory compliance
  • A strong cluster of companies developing and delivering governance, risk and compliance (GRC) technology solutions for the global banking, asset management and payments industries.
  • Compliance teams and RegTech providers have developed deep expertise in a range of international regulations including MiFID, AIFMD, EMIR, FATCA and GDPR.
  • A hub for AML/KYC, with significant regulatory risk and financial crime teams, as well as teams who specialise in ISDA negotiation, trade surveillance and disclosures.

Insurance and assurance

Area of sector expertise

  • Customer service
  • Brokering
  • Underwriting
  • Insuretech
  • Leading US insurers Aflac, Allstate and Liberty all have sizable technology operations in Northern Ireland and are leading the way in cyber security, cognitive technology and applied innovation.
  • Insuretech teams in Northern Ireland are developing next generation insurance solutions based on telematics, advanced data analytics and predictive modelling to improve driver behaviour, fraud detection and customer retention.

Northern Ireland for foreign direct investment

Northern Ireland is an attractive place for investment in the financial services sector thanks to a combination of factors including skills availability, excellent infrastructure, cost-effectiveness, and a supportive business environment. To find out more visit our Invest in Northern Ireland section.

Financial services in Northern Ireland video playlist

 

Hear from our investors on why they chose Northern Ireland for their investment.

Who's here

Global leaders successfully operating in the region include:

Aflac

Alfac company logo

Leading US insurance company Aflac established a Global IT and Cyber Security Innovation Centre in Northern Ireland in 2019 to support customers and market growth in the US and Japan. Teams in Belfast are providing technical expertise and operational support to Aflac’s US cyber security and IT operations.

The Allstate Corporation

allstate.png

America’s largest publically held personal lines, property and casualty insurer established its first NI centre in 1998 and today is Northern Ireland’s largest IT Company with 2,400+ employees across three different sites in Belfast, Londonderry and Strabane.  Allstate NI covers the full life cycle of software design, development, maintenance and support. Specialist teams also work in telematics and analytics for fraud prevention and customer retention.

Citi

Citi logo

Leading global bank, Citi established a technology centre in Belfast in 2005 and has grown to over 2,900 employees providing professional services to 96 countries across the globe in 21 distinct functions including markets, legal, risk, HR, operations and technology.  Citi have a range of opportunities available for graduates, apprenticeships, school leavers and people returning to work.

CME Group

CME Group logo

Chicago based CME Group is the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace. CME Group established its Technology and Support Centre in Belfast in 2012 and today it employs over 280 staff, undertaking software development, clearing operations, finance and digital marketing for the Group’s operations in London, Singapore, New York, & Chicago.

Danske Bank

Danske Bank logo

Danske Bank currently employs over 1,400 people in Northern Ireland across a diverse range of teams, from digital and robotics, to finance, legal and customer experience.  Danske Bank alongside Catalyst Inc established the first dedicated Fintech hub in Northern Ireland in 2018 and the bank also offers higher level apprenticeships in association with Ulster University.

FinTrU

FinTrU logo

Founded in 2013, FinTrU is a multi-award winning Regulatory Technology company working on the global stage with the largest Tier 1 Global Investment Banks.  Employing over 800 people across offices in Belfast, Derry/Londonderry, London and New York, FinTrU works with its clients’ Legal, Risk, Compliance, KYC, and Operations departments to help them meet their regulatory needs and provides efficient and optimised solutions which are enabled by technology and its TrUDelivery methodology.

FD Technologies

FD Technolgies logo

FD Technologies is a group of data-driven businesses that unlock the value of insight, hindsight and foresight to drive organisations forward. The Group comprises KX, the leading technology for realtime continuous intelligence; First Derivative, a provider of technology-led services in capital markets; and MRP, the only enterprise-class, predictive Accounts Based Marketing solution. FD Technologies operates from 15 offices across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific, and employs more than 2,500 people worldwide.

Lloyds Banking Group

Lloyds Banking Group logo

Lloyds Banking Group (previously Halifax) established a contact centre in Belfast nearly 25 years ago to meet increasing demand for telephone and internet based customer service.  The centre has gone from strength to strength and now employs over 1600 people specialising in customer service excellence across a number of banking products and services.

Ocorian

Ocorian company logo

In 2011, Ocorian, a global leader in corporate and fiduciary services, fund administration and capital markets, established a funds service operation in Belfast to service UK based funds, particularly in private equity, and renewable energy infrastructure.  As part of a global network of offices, Ocorian Belfast fulfils a number of functions including Accountancy, Company Secretarial and Depositary.

TSYS

TSYS logo

Headquartered in Georgia, USA, TSYS (a Global Payments Company) is a leading global provider of seamless, secure and innovative solutions to payment card issuers, in approximately 80 countries worldwide. Its solutions range from simple and reliable payment processing, to fully integrated, multichannel customer engagement platforms which facilitate payment security, acceptance, consumer programs, and analytics. TSYS’s established an engineering division in Belfast in 2013.

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