What salary can a graduate expect in retail banking, actuarial and insurance roles?

Last updated: 16 Jun 2023, 08:49

Find out how much graduates can earn in insurance, retail banking and actuarial.

Pound coins: how much can you expect to earn in insurance, actuarial work or retail banking?

With lots of finance employers stating ‘competitive’ salaries it can be hard to figure out what you really can earn as a graduate working in insurance, retail banking and actuarial. Here we’ve done some of the work for you as this article breaks down how much graduates can earn in these sectors along with some of the perks offered by employers.

How much does a graduate earn in finance?

When the Institute of Student Employers (ISE) surveyed its members in 2022, it found that the median salary for graduates working in finance and professional services was £27,687 and the average was £32,316. For students looking for salaries specifically in retail banking, insurance and actuarial work, however, these amounts may not tell the whole story: the ISE figures also include pay at other types of financial employers, such as investment banks and accountancy firms, and the ISE’s membership tends to be comprised of the largest employers and so does not reflect the pay at small employers.

What are the graduate salaries offered by big financial services firms?

Many financial services employers don’t publish exact earning figures in case another organisation offers something better. As a result, you’ll often see job adverts in which the rate of pay is simply stated as ‘competitive’. Sometimes an employer may just disclose salary information once they offer you a job. That said, there is information out there about how much graduates in the financial services sector are paid.

Here are just some of the big employers who do publish salary details:

  • Bank of England – its graduate development programme and actuarial programme has a salary of £31,000.
  • Lloyd’s – a starting salary of £30,000 for graduates working in insurance and £35,000 for graduates working in actuarial.
  • Lloyds Banking Group – salary of £42,000 for the finance graduate programme.
  • NatWest Group – a salary of £33,500 for the finance and commercial banking programme and a salary of £55,000 for the financing solutions programme.
  • Santander – a starting salary of £35,000.
  • Zurich Insurance Group – a starting salary of £32,550 for the actuarial programme and £29,400 starting salary for the finance programme.

How much does a graduate in insurance or actuarial get paid?

If an employer doesn’t publish salary details, you can turn to anonymised surveys for more information. Insights from Hays recruitment agency provides information on what graduates can earn, based on their 2023 salary survey (which is comprised of over 13,000 employers and professionals over the last 12 months) the data reports that the typical salaries for a graduate trainee actuary working in general insurance are as follows:

  • £36,000 in London
  • £33,000 in south-east England
  • £32,000 in the East Midlands and West Midlands
  • £30,500 in north-east England and in Yorkshire and the Humber
  • £29,500 in north-west England.

Meanwhile, the typical salary for graduate a trainee actuary working in pensions is slightly lower:

  • 32,000 in London
  • £28,500 in the south and midlands and
  • £26,500 for those in the north and Scotland.

And graduates trainee actuaries working in life insurance are reported to earn:

  • £36,500 in London
  • £31,500 in the south, north and midlands
  • £26,250 in Scotland

For more salaries within insurance, you can turn to anonymous employer and salary review sites such as Glassdoor (an employment website that provides salary data). According to their 2023 salary data, the average salary for a graduate insurance broker is £30,329 per year. Bear in mind, though, that this figure is based on 13 salaries submitted anonymously to Glassdoor by graduate insurance broker employees.

Glassdoor also reports the following average salaries within insurance claims:

  • £24,319 for claims technicians
  • £31,812 for claims adjusters
  • £22,247 for insurance claims handlers.

You’ll notice these are not called ‘graduate’ positions as you do not require a degree to become a claims technician, claims adjuster or claims handler. These figures represent entry-level salaries for anyone starting out in these roles.

How much does a graduate in retail banking get paid?

Graduate jobs in retail banking are usually within branch management or relationship management. However, there are other graduate roles within marketing and products (developing and managing products, for example) as well as risk assessment and compliance. According to the salary data from global hiring solutions company Talent.com, which is based on based on 921 salaries, the average graduate banking salary in the United Kingdom is £29,475.

What sort of perks can I expect?

There are a wide range of benefits offered by employers within the financial services, such as:

  • subsidised gym membership
  • discounts on travel
  • private health insurance
  • a season ticket loan
  • life assurance
  • contributions into a pension scheme
  • starting bonuses
  • financial support for professional qualifications
  • the option to buy more or sell some of your holiday entitlement
  • discounted tickets to events such as comedy nights, golf and theatre
  • the opportunity to buy technology such as a tablet, laptop or desktop computer by paying a fixed amount direct from your salary each month
  • flexible working, such as taking a career break or job share
  • an annual bonus or performance-related bonuses
  • a proportion of rental accommodation paid
  • free lunches, snacks or drinks in the office
  • access to a company car
  • private medical insurance
  • retail or childcare vouchers, or discounts with travel companies
  • preferential rates for some of the organisation’s products
  • travel insurance.

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This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the targetjobs content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.

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