Industry strengths and capabilities
NSW's financial and professional services sectors
NSW is Australia's most important market for the thriving financial and professional services sectors.
The state's financial and professional services sectors are centred in Sydney, the capital of NSW and Australia's commercial hub, which is home to 42% of Australia's top 500 companies and is the Asia-Pacific headquarters for over 600 multinational companies.
More multinational financial and professional services firms have their Australian headquarters in Sydney than any other city in Australia.
Financial and insurance services
The state's financial and insurance services industry employed 182,900 people in 2017 and is a leading financial centre in the Asia-Pacific region.
Sydney is ranked eighth most competitive financial centre globally in the Global Financial Centre Index (GFCI) in 2017.
Rated as triple-A by Standard and Poor's and Moody's, NSW provides a growing, stable and low-risk environment for the world's top financial and insurance services businesses.
NSW is also home to more financial and insurance companies' headquarters than any other Australian state or territory. Over 90% of international banks operating in Australia, including 18 of the world’s 25 largest banks as ranked by Forbes, are headquartered in Sydney.
Australia’s investment management and pensions industry is one of the largest and fastest growing globally. Managed fund assets under management is the sixth largest in the world and the largest in the Asian region. The largest fund managers in Australia are primarily based in Sydney.
Sydney is one of the largest fintech ecosystems in Asia and dominates Australia’s fintech landscape. Sydney has a diverse fintech sector that has exhibited strong ecosystem and investment growth. Australia ranks fifth globally for fintech adoption and has one of the highest levels of fintech market penetration in the world.
The Deloitte Connecting Global FinTech: Interim Hub Review 2017 ranks Sydney as the eighth strongest fintech hub in the world. The review highlights Sydney’s position as a gateway ecosystem into Asia with many global banks setting up their Asian headquarters in Sydney, a deep and skilled talent pool and an excellent innovation culture.
Sydney is home to 59% of Australia’s fintech companies. The largest fintech sectors are payments and alternative finance. After China, Australia has emerged as the second largest alternative finance market in the Asia region. Wealthtech, capital markets, regtech. blockchain and insurtech are also active fintech sectors.
Sydney is home to two dedicated fintech hubs including Stone & Chalk, the largest fintech hub in Asia, and the world’s first fintech regulatory sandbox, The Australian Securities and Investments Commission Innovation Hub.
General professional services
NSW has the right infrastructure and people to underpin growth in professional services businesses. NSW is competitive with global professional services hubs such as Hong Kong, London and Singapore.
All major enabling government and industry infrastructure is located in Sydney including the Reserve Bank of Australia, Australian Securities Exchange, financial market regulators, Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and most national industry associations and peak bodies.
The state boasts a highly trained multilingual workforce, with more than half of its residents aged 15–74 tertiary qualified (Certificate Level III or higher).
In addition, more than one quarter of NSW's population was born overseas, and over 22% of NSW's population speak a language other than English at home, giving companies access to talent with multilingual abilities.
Businesses can benefit from the presence of some of the world's leading universities and research institutions, such as the:
- University of Sydney
- University of New South Wales
- University of Technology Sydney
- Western Sydney University
- Macquarie University
- The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
- Capital Markets Cooperative Research Centre
NSW is also well-connected to the global economy, including through first-class telecommunications infrastructure and high-quality services.
The state has six international fibre-optic cable networks linking Australia with the United States, Europe and Asia. Sydney is at the heart of this telecommunications network and is a major internet exchange point.
NSW is an ideal location to do international business. The start of the working day on Australia's east coast overlaps with the close of markets in the United States, and our close of business overlaps with the start of Europe's business day.
NSW's time zone also offers favourable timing for trade in key Asian markets such as Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore.