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Overview of the Finance Industry


The finance, insurance, real estate & leasing industry accounts for about one-quarter of B.C.’s total GDP, with finance & insurance accounting for 5.9%

Businesses in the finance, insurance and real estate industry provide services related to financial transactions. The finance industry is comprised mostly of banks, credit unions, advisors and brokers.  Finance businesses conduct and facilitate financial activities such as day-to-day transactions, lending, borrowing and the sale of investment products. Financial institutions are mainly engaged in taking deposits, issuing securities and lending money. They carry the risk themselves and act as a connector between lenders and borrowers.

Sources: WorkBC Industry Outlook Profile, Finance [select ‘Finance’], British Columbia Financial and Economic Review, 2017

Vancouver’s Role as a Global Financial Centre

According to the Conference Board of Canada, Vancouver stands out as a centre for wealth management activity. Vancouver also accounts for an above-average share of fund management activity. The city is known as a bond trading center, and is active in the alternative investment space like hedge funds. Facilitating foreign direct investment is also a core strength for Vancouver. Foreign-owned subsidiaries or branches of foreign banks are also prevalent in Vancouver.

The credit union system in Vancouver is the most significant contributor to the growth in Vancouver’s financial services sector over the past five years (just below Asia’s rise as an economic power and Canada becoming a settlement hub for Renminbi [Chinese currency]).

Vancouver also supports equity financing for small cap businesses, particularly in the mining sector. Finally, with the city’s strong high-tech infrastructure, venture capital is a key strength for the city. The upswings in financial technology (FinTech) start-ups are also attracting a growing amount of venture capital financing.

Source: Stronger Together. The Strengths of Canada’s Four Global Financial Centres, Conference Board of Canada.

BC Job Openings

New job openings in BC industries come from either the need to replace retiring workers or because of economic growth. The need to replace retiring workers will create more than half of the projected job openings for every major B.C. industry over the next ten years.

BC Job Openings by Major Industry Group, 2017-2027
Source: BC’s Labour Market Outlook, 2017

The majority of employment in the finance industry occurs in the Mainland / Southwest region

Finance Industry - Majority of Work Located in Lower Mainland / Vancouver Island
Source: WorkBC: Finance Industry: Location of Work

The Finance industry is expected to experience a lower-than average rate of growth in its workforce over the next ten years up to 2027. The industry is projected to have 22,800 job openings over the 10-year period, 78 percent of which are to replace workers leaving the labour force.

Finance Industry - Employment & Job Openings in BC 2017-2027
Source: WorkBC: Industry Outlook Profile: Finance  [select ‘Finance’]

Occupations in the Finance Industry

Finance Industry Job Openings in BC, 2017-2027 By Skill Level

Source: WorkBC: Finance, Insurance and Real Estate

High Demand Management Occupations

High Demand Occupations

Source: WorkBC High Demand Occupations

Additional information on finance industry careers:

Hiring Forecast by Region

The majority of jobs in the finance industry are found in Metro Vancouver, the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.

Finance Industry - Employment Growth by Development Region, 2017-2027

Source: WorkBC: Finance, Insurance and Real Estate

For more information about BC’s seven economic regions, see:

Finding Jobs

Online Job Postings

Canada’s largest banks have extensive job sites:

Creating a List of Potential Employers

You can use directories to produce lists of employers in the finance industry in British Columbia. Contact them directly to find out if they’re hiring.

  • Reference Canada
    Click on “Start Search” beside Canadian Businesses, then select the “Advanced Search” button.
    Select both “Keyword/SIC/NAICS” under Business Type and “City” under Geography.
    In the top search box enter “financial” OR “investment” OR “banks” and click LOOKUP.
    Select the appropriate headings.
    Lower down, select the Province, choose the cities, and click the “View Results” button.
    NOTE: You can access this database from a Library computer. If you are using a computer from outside the Library, you will need a Vancouver Public Library card to login to this database. After clicking on the database name, you will be asked to enter your library card number and PIN (usually last four digits of your telephone number).

Additional Resources

Still looking for more information? Try looking at the following resources: