Investment Banking in London (UK)

Investment Banking in London (UK)

The UK and Europe have been the financial capital cities of the world for a long time. Since investment banking is a huge part of the financial institutions and business deals, it’s quite clear that London (UK) is one of the best places to be an investment banker.

But how it would be to be an investment banker in London, United Kingdom? In this article, we will look at all the aspects to understand how well-off you would be if you find yourself in the “investment banking” in London.

Investment Banking in UK


Let’s look at the sequence of the article –

Overview of Investment Banking in London

If we look at the map of the world, we would see that London is in the center of the map. On the left, there is America, and on the right, there is Asia. In the middle, there is Europe. Moreover, London being a financial capital of Europe has always become reliant on immigration and trade.

After 11th September 2011, when the USA needed visas for everything, for business trips to employment visits; visas in the UK for business deals and other employment opportunities were still easily available.

As a result, many immigrants from India, France, Spain, Italy, and Germany have entered the workforce of the UK and made it the best financial market in the world.

During that time, many investment banks had gone belly up in the USA (for example WorldCom, Enron, Lehman Brothers, etc.). And the UK had still been maintaining authority in financial marketsFinancial MarketsThe term "financial market" refers to the marketplace where activities such as the creation and trading of various financial assets such as bonds, stocks, commodities, currencies, and derivatives take place. It provides a platform for sellers and buyers to interact and trade at a price determined by market more.

The above has had a great impact on the world’s financial market. London was considered the best environment to do business and to create value for people involved. As a result, Investment banks in London are the best place to work.

So roll up your sleeves and do all you can to for investment banking in London, UK (if you want to be an investment banker at all).

Investment Banking Services in London

There is an entire gamut of services investment banking in London, UK offer.

Barclays Investment Banking Services

Let’s have a snapshot of them in brief –

Top Investment banks in London (UK)

According to the Guardian UK 300 (i.e. the largest student survey in the UK on students’ opinions), these are the investment banks that topped the list.

But before that, let’s look at the source of the survey.

In 2016, total of 52,000 students took part in this survey. They have the following characteristics –

  • They expected an average salary of 32,462 UK Pounds per annum.
  • Out of all the students, 52% of them have experience in the related work field.
  • These students most commonly studied economics, business or management, statistics or mathematical science.

Now, let’s look at the ten glorious, top-notch investment banks of the UK according to the above survey –

Top Investment banks in London

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  1. JP. Morgan: According to the survey, J.P. Morgan topped the list in investment banks in London. They have headquarters in London and other offices in Bournemouth, Glasgow & Edinburgh. J.P. Morgan is also one of the largest technology employers in Scotland.
  2. Goldman Sachs International: Goldman Sachs International in the UK has taken the second spot in the list of Investment Banks in London. It has multiple offices in London. According to, most of the employees make more money than the students expected in the survey.
  3. Barclays: Barclays is not exactly an investment bank, but it provides services in financial services and in insurance.
  4. Morgan Stanley: Morgan Stanley in the UK has taken the 4th spot in the list of top investment banks in London. In 1977, Morgan Stanley started its European headquarters in London. It has more than 8000 employees in all of the offices in London.
  5. Deutsche Bank: Deutsche Bank took the 5th position in the list of top investment banks in London. The London branch office of Deutsche Bank offers investment banking & underwriting services. This branch office acts as a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank AG.
  6. Bank of America, Merrill Lynch: Bank of America, Merrill Lynch was on the 6th in the list of top investment banks in London. It has the capabilities, resources, and strengths to carve out a glorious future for their employees as well as investors.
  7. BlackRock: BlackRock is one of the biggest in the UK and they took the 7th spot in the list of top investment banks in London. According to their website, BlackRock had assets under management (AUM) of US$4.59 trillion as of June 30, 2014.
  8. Credit Suisse: Credit Suisse has stood out at 8th At the end of 2016, it was mentioned that there are more than 3000 employees working fulltime in the investment banking team (globally) and they expect to grow their investment banking capability by 60%.
  9. Citibank: Citibank has dropped from position 8th in 2015 to position 9th in 2016. They have headquarters in Canary Wharf, London.
  10. UBS: UBS is in the tenth position according to the survey. They have a head office in London. As per the website, in the UK, they have assets under management (AUM) 31.7 billion UK pounds as of December 2015.

Investment banking Recruitment Process in London (UK)

As expected, in the UK, the recruitment process for investment banking in London is quite different than in the USA and other countries.

There are two to four stages of the recruitment process you need to go through to be able to get the offer letter in your hands. Have a glance at them and prepare accordingly –

In this case, you need to remember two things. First, there is a graduate scheme of the recruitment process where you are expected to complete a banking internship before applying for the Graduate job in investment banks. Second, there is an internship scheme of the recruitment process where you need to answer two specific questions – “why do you want this internship?” and “why you want to join this bank?”

Investment banking Culture in London

Culture is often shaped by the country, Government, regulations & compliances and most importantly ethics in the organization.

Let’s have a look at few investment banks in the UK (London) and their organizational culture –

  • Goldman Sachs: You need to work extremely long hours. You either like the culture or you don’t like it at all – truly there’s no in-between. The best part is the pay if you make it to the top positions.
  • J P Morgan: This bank operates in the most European way possible. The worst part is it pays below the market. The best thing is the internships where the juniors are trained incredibly well.
  • UBS: The place was incredible. People were happy and the work environment was cool until the arrival of Ozzie Grubel and the ramping up process in fixed income. The worst thing is the pay and the best part is getting hired in FICC.
  • Morgan Stanley: People here are not very contented and they are usually busy in remembering the past golden days.
  • Credit Suisse: It is one of the happiest places to work in. If you join Credit Suisse, UK, you will find that the pay is the highest and the way the bank deals with the downturn is incredible.
  • Deutsche Bank: It has a bad name of being overly political, but it has been changing over the years. This bank is worst for putting people in comparative roles which only increases hostility. The best part is, of course, the pay structure.

Investment banking salaries in the UK (London)

According to the data collected at, the salaries of front office jobs in investment banking (M&A, ECM, Sales, Trading, etc.) increase drastically if one can stick to the jobs beyond the age of 25.

Investment banking in United Kingdom


  • Between 21 years of age to 25 years, you will become an Investment Banking Associate from Analyst and your pay would increase to 80,000 UK pounds from 45,000 UK pounds per annum.
  • From 25 years of age, if you stick till 30, you will become Vice President from Associate and your pay would become 156,000 UK pounds per annum.
  • If you still stick to the job and can continue till 35, you will become Director from VP and will receive 231,000 UK pounds per annum.
  • If you still have the guts to stay, at 40 you will become Managing Director and will receive around 315,000 UK pounds per annum.
  • After that, you will become a Senior MD and will receive around 475,000 UK pounds per annum.

Investment Banking Exit Opportunities in London (UK)

Also, further details, please have a look at Investment Banking Exit OpportunitiesInvestment Banking Exit OpportunitiesAmong the several exit options available to investment bankers are: 1.Private Equity 2.Hedge Funds 3.Strategy Consulting 4.Fin-Tech 5.Advisory for large more

In the final analysis

London (UK) is one of the best markets for investment bankers. So, if you would like to go into investment banking, London (UK) would be your best bet. Sure, there are issues within the cultures of investment banks in London (UK); but where wouldn’t it be?

Do your due diligence and you would know that a great career is awaiting you all along.

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This has been a guide to Investment Banking in London, services offered, culture, Investment Banking salaries offered in the UK, recruitment process, and exit opportunities. You may also have a look at the below article for more details on Investment Banking.