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Financial Services


This page provides high-level information and data on the Financial Services industry, which comprises the following sectors:

  • Accounting and Bookkeeping
  • Banking and General Financial Services
  • Financial Markets and Planning
  • Insurance and Superannuation
  • Mortgage and Financial Broking
  • Specialised Financial Services.

For more information on any of the above sectors, please visit the respective sector page.

As Australia's second largest industry, Financial Services is pivotal to Australian wealth and jobs, employing over 420,000 people in 2017 and touching the lives of most Australians who rely on the industry to manage their wealth and financial security. Related to the Financial Services industry is the Accounting sector. The Accounting sector is also a major employer, with approximately 315,000 Accountants and Accounting Clerks in 2016. The Financial Services industry and Accounting sector employs approximately 6% of Australians, down from 7% in 2015.

Nationally recognised training for the Financial Services industry is delivered under the FNS Financial Services Training Package. The FNS Training Package plays an important role in skilling workers to operate in this industry and sectors, offering 46 qualifications and 12 skills sets.

The Financial Services industry and Accounting sector have been through significant changes over the past decade, following extensive regulatory reform on a global scale and the emergence of new technologies in the industry. As these trends are set to continue, the FNS Training Package will play an important role in ensuring workers' skills are kept up to date and that workers are well equipped to move between roles as this industry adapts to these changes.

Information sourced from the Financial Services IRC's 2018 Skills Forecast.

All data sources are available at the end of the page.

IRC and Skills Forecast

Industry cluster snapshot

Employment and training snapshot

Employment in the Financial Services industry fluctuated between 2000 and 2018 but remained on an overall upwards trend. The year 2018 represented the highest employment level in this industry during this period at around 448,100, with growth predicted between 2018 and 2023.

Program enrolments and subject-only enrolments in the Financial Services training package saw an increase in 2015 from the previous year, with the increase much larger in the case of subject-only enrolments. Enrolments declined in 2016 and again in 2017 compared to 2015. Program completions remained relatively stable between 2014 and 2017. Enrolments in the Financial Services training package were mostly at the certificate IV level or higher, with fewer enrolments below the certificate III level.

Industry insights on skills needs

According to the Financial Services IRC's 2018 Skills Forecast the top generic workforce skills for the Financial Services industry are:

  • customer service/marketing
  • design mindset/thinking critically/system thinking/solving problems
  • learning agility/information literacy/intellectual autonomy and self-management
  • financial
  • data analysis.

According to the job vacancy data, the top requested skills by employers in the Financial Services industry were communication skills and building effective relationships. The most advertised occupations were Information Officers followed by Financial Investment Advisers and Managers. The top employers were the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and the Westpac Banking Corporation.

The above Skills Forecast highlights some of the key trends for the Financial Services industry. These include Fintech and automation, increased regulation, demographic change, and demand for future skills.

Technological innovations are changing the way financial and accounting services are delivered, giving the consumer more knowledge and control in the transaction, as well as leading to the automation of many process-oriented roles in the industry. While automation may lead to the complete replacement of some roles with technology, requiring workers to move to higher-skilled positions or exit the industry, it will also provide an opportunity for many workers to use different skills in related roles. For example, changes to insurance administration roles are leading workers to move away from processing claims to a more service-oriented role focused on improving the customer's engagement with the company.

The ageing population will drive strong demand for health insurance, superannuation and financial advice over the medium to long term which will create an increased demand for most professionals in the superannuation, financial planning and insurance sectors. Skills needed include:

  • specialist knowledge to support retirees accessing services in these sectors and people with a disability under the NDIS scheme
  • customer service skills as older Australians are less likely to utilise remote technologies
  • risk management skills to ensure that retirees have a stable income stream and are able to effectively manage their wealth.

For more detailed analysis of industry skills needs, see the Financial Services sector pages.

Links and resources

Below is a list of industry-relevant organisations and associations. Hyperlinks have been included where available.

Industry associations and advisory bodies

Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT)

Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS)

Association of Financial Advisers (AFA)

Association of Independently Owned Financial Professionals (AIOFP)

Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA)

Association of Taxation and Management Accountants (ATMA)

Australasian Institute of Chartered Loss Adjusters (AICLA)

Australia and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF)

Australian Banking Association

Australian Bookkeepers Association (ABA)

Australian Financial Markets Association (AFMA)

Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST)

Australian Retail Credit Association (ARCA)

CFA Societies Australia & New Zealand

CPA Australia

Customer Owned Banking Association

Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA)

Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA)

Financial Services Council (FSC)

Financial Services Institute of Australasia (FINSIA)

Independent Financial Advisers Association of Australia (IFAAA)

Institute of Certified Bookkeepers

Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand

Institute of Mercantile Agents (IMA)

Institute of Public Accountants (IPA)

Insurance Australia Group (IAG)

Insurance Council of Australia (ICA)

Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia (MFAA)

National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA)

Risk Management Association (RMA) Australia

Self Managed Super Fund Association (SMSF Association)

Stockbrokers and Financial Advisers Association (SAFAA)

Government bodies

Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA)

Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA)

Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC)

Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC)

Council of Financial Regulators (CFR)

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA)

Employee associations

Finance Sector Union (FSU)


Data sources and notes

Department of Employment, 2018, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal

  • by ANZSIC 1 digit Financial and Insurance Services Industry, employment projections to May 2023.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018, Employed persons by industry group of main job (ANZSIC), Sex, State and Territory, November 1984 onwards, 6291.0.55.003 - EQ06, viewed 1 November 2018

  • Employed total by ANZSIC 1 digit Financial and Insurance Services Industry, 2000 to 2018, May Quarter.

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection, Total VET Students and Courses from the following training packages:

  • FNS and FNB Financial Services Training Packages.

Data covers a range of selected student and training characteristics in the following categories and years:

  • 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 program enrolments
  • 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 subject enrolments
  • 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 program completions.

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

Total VET students and courses data is reported for the calendar year. Program enrolments are the qualifications, courses and skill-sets in which students are enrolled in a given period. For students enrolled in multiple programs, all programs are counted. Program completion indicates that a student has completed a structured and integrated program of education or training. Location data uses student residence. Subject enrolment is registration of a student at a training delivery location for the purpose of undertaking a module, unit of competency or subject. For more information on the terms and definitions, please refer to the Total VET students and courses: terms and definitions document.

Low counts (less than 5) are not reported to protect client confidentiality.

Percentages are rounded to one decimal place. This can lead to situations where the total sum of proportions in a chart may not add up to exactly 100%.

FNS and FNB Financial Services Training Packages apprentice and trainee data has been extracted from the National Apprentice and Trainee Collection, including:

  • 2010 to 2017 commencements
  • 2010 to 2017 completions
  • 2017 apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2017 collection, by qualification and state and territory.

Priority skills data have been extracted from the Financial Services IRC's 2018 Skills Forecast.

Job vacancy data have been extracted from Burning Glass Technologies 2018, Labor Insight Real-time Labor Market Information Tool, Burning Glass Technologies, Boston, viewed July 2018,

Data shown represent most requested generic skills, occupations and employers according to internet job postings in Australia between July 2015 and June 2018 filtered by ANZSIC and ANZSCO classification levels listed below.

  • Generic skills/Occupations
    • Financial and Insurance Services
  • Employers
    • 5412 Information Officers
    • 2223 Financial Investment Advisers and Managers
    • 2211 Accountants
    • 5521 Bank Workers
    • 6113 Sales Representatives
    • Financial and Insurance Services.
Updated: 18 Oct 2019
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