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

An unbeatable combination of world-class talent, highly competitive operating costs and research excellence in a low-risk, pro-business environment, has fuelled the growth of Northern Ireland’s financial services sector.

Belfast, the region’s capital, is ranked as the world’s top destination for financial technology investment projects and has been ranked in the top 3 Fintech locations of the future after London & Singapore.

(Source FT FDI Markets 2019)

A host of global financial services institutions including Citi, CME Group, Visa, Vela and TP ICAP and a dynamic cluster of home-grown entrepreneurs such as First Derivatives, Datactics and FSCOM thrive in a supportive entrepreneurial ecosystem in which collaboration and innovation is encouraged and supported by the government.

In 2017 Rakuten announced its plans to set up its unique Blockchain Lab in Belfast, creating 20 new software engineering roles. PWC’s Global Blockchain Impact Centre is based in Belfast and Deloitte is developing a number of blockchain-related prototypes for the global investment management and insurance industries.

Areas of expertise

Northern Ireland is leading the way, with expertise in:

  • Fund administration
  • Asset Management
  • Investment operations
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Risk Management
  • Trading and payments technologies
  • Analytics and cybersecurity
  • Blockchain and AI

Access to world-class talent

Northern Ireland’s two prestigious universities, Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University are producing highly skilled graduates with a depth of skills. Both universities have trading rooms, offering students a dynamic learning environment and first-hand experience of the high-pressure atmosphere of a trading room.

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.

Who's here

Global leaders successfully operating in the region include:

  • The Allstate Corporation

    Allstate established its first NI centre in 1998 and today operate from three locations (Belfast, Derry and Strabane) with 2300+ staff. 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 Belfast runs global foreign exchange operations for the business and provides integrated services to the Markets and Banking Group EMEA. Citi established its Belfast centre in 2005 and today employs around 2600 people in functions including operations, risk management, legal services, compliance, and technology.

  • CME Group

    In 2012 the world’s leading derivatives exchange CME Group established a technology and support services centre in Belfast. Today it employs over 300 staff, undertaking software development, clearing operations, finance and digital marketing for the Group’s operations in London, Singapore, New York, & Chicago.

  • FinTrU

    FinTrU is a multi-award winning Financial Services company that is committed to giving local talent the opportunity to work on the global stage with the largest International Investment Banks.  

    Based in Belfast and Derry/Londonderry, FinTrU provides clients with high quality, cost-effective, near-shore resourcing solutions.

  • First Derivatives (FD)

    NI headquartered and AIM-listed, First Derivatives, is a leading provider of database technology, products and consulting services to some of the world’s largest finance, technology and energy institutions.  Recognised as one of the fastest-growing capital markets service providers in the world, the company now employs over 2,400 employees worldwide.

  • TSYS

    Headquartered in Columbus, Georgia, TSYS is a leading global payments solutions provider. 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 Belfast team delivers engineering and client/technical support for customers in North America.

Key facts

Financial services key facts for Northern Ireland

  • The region offers a 40% reduction in typical salary costs compared to London and Dublin
  • 39,000 people employed in the Financial & Professional services sector in NI
  • 3,700 graduate in business & technology each year
  • Northern Ireland is the world's top region for FS technology inward investment
  • Belfast is ranked in the top 3 Global Fintech locations of the future after London & Singapore

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