Good as Gold: Top-Rated Workplaces Banking and Finance 2018

The banking and financial industry plays an indispensable role in our lives and in keeping the global economy moving. Whether you’re buying something with a credit card, following a hot stock tip or running a business, the banking industry is working for you—and that’s just scratching the surface.

With an industry this vital to our economic well-being, it’s no wonder they employ so many people: with almost 8.3 million people, it ranks sixth in sheer numbers, while finance and insurance accounted for a whopping 7.3% (or $1.4 trillion) of GDP in the US in 2016. The fortunes of the financial industry are inextricably tied to the performance of the US economy as a whole, and employment in the sector is expected to enjoy solid growth in the next 10 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

And of course, the sector is continually exploring ways to attract and retain top talent to remain competitive. So which firms are doing the best job of keeping employees satisfied, and what is it that makes people so keen on working for them? Our data science team analyzed Indeed’s 72 million ratings and reviews to find out the answers. 

Multinational banking giant HSBC leads the rankings

At the top of the rankings is the banking and financial services holding giant HSBC. Founded in 1836 in Shanghai,  HSBC today is the sixth-largest public company in the world. Their move into the US began in earnest in the 1980s with the acquisition of US-based Marine Midland Bank. They employ 43,000 people globally, 14,000 of whom are based in the US.

American banking is well represented in the top 15. Only four of the top 15—HSBC (#1), TD Bank (#2), EY (#6) and PwC (#9)—have their global headquarters outside of the US. Capital One (#3) is the highest-ranking US-based company on the list.

In stark contrast to the much talked about tech sector, banking is a long-established industry with origins dating back thousands of years. None of the firms on our list are quite that old, but they have been around a long time, especially by American standards.

Seven of the 15 have origins that predate the Civil War. Nine were founded in the burgeoning boom and bust years of the 19th century, with the oldest—Citi (#8)—founded just two days before the outbreak of the War of 1812. Today, it is one of the Big 4 American banks.

But age doesn’t mean that these firms aren’t keeping current. Early adoption of new technology has been a strategy for success for many of them. As early as 1977, all of Citi’s New York branches had at least two ATMs operating 24 hours a day, making life easier for customers and employees alike.

In 1999 Fidelity Investments (#5)—in a move that’s decidedly more Silicon Valley than 5th Avenue—opened Fidelity Labs to “research the future” and “track and share innovation.”  In 2015, Northwestern Mutual (#4) launched their innovative Tiger Teams program, in which application development teams are paired with regional offices to identify where digital solutions can add value and then quickly implement them.

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