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Create a new standard of service in Sydney

An innovative spirit and thriving tech startup scene drive financial and professional services growth in the capital. From your Sydney headquarters, develop innovative technology and provide a new standard of service for your clients.

From your new locale, strike a balance between ease of doing business and healthy governance. NSW's legal and regulatory frameworks promote scalability, security and certainty, provide robust property rights and make the state commercially strong.

Sydney’s top 10 ranking in the Global Financial Centres Index in 2018 validates its commercial strength. Sydney was recognised as the highest ranked city in Australia and rated ahead of Zurich, Beijing and Frankfurt. The city was also named a Global Leader alongside 14 other centres including Geneva and Zurich.

One of the world’s leading financial market exchanges, the Australian Securities Exchange and Futures Exchange (ASX) is located in the heart of Sydney’s CBD. With a market capitalisation of $1.5 trillion, the company consistently rates among the top five exchanges globally.

NSW is the natural base for financial institutions wanting to enter or expand into the Asia Pacific market. More than 80% of Australia’s foreign and local banks have their Australian headquarters in Sydney. Some of the world-class financial firms currently doing business here include:

  • Industrial and Commercial Bank of China
  • China Construction Bank
  • JPMorgan Chase
  • Berkshire Hathaway
  • Agriculture Bank of China
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch
  • Wells Fargo
  • Bank of China
  • HSBC
  • Banco Santander
  • China Merchants Bank
  • AXA Group
  • MUFG Bank
  • Bank of Communications
  • Royal Bank of Canada
  • Morgan Stanley
  • ING
  • Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Intesa Sanpaolo
  • Prudential Financial
  • MetLife
  • Scotiabank
  • AIA Group

Additionally, NSW is home to Australia’s leading business, commerce, finance and engineering universities. In Sydney, you’ll find a pool of talented graduates and a qualified workforce on-hand to maintain new service standards.

Quick facts: financial and professional services in Sydney and NSW

Sydney and NSW are globally recognised for their capability in key professional services sectors, including financial services, engineering, legal services, and management consulting. Here are some of the reasons why.

  • 38% of all employees in Australia are based in NSW.
  • NSW is the leading contributor of Australia’s total financial service output (45%). NSW also makes up the majority of Australia’s financial service exports.
  • Financial services is also the largest contributor to NSW’s GSP (13%) with professional services contributing 9% in 2017.
  • Sydney’s financial services capabilities have been built around Australia’s $2.3 trillion pension fund savings pool, the third largest pension system in the world behind the US and the UK.

NSW contribution to Australia’s financial, insurance and pension service industry

  • Financial services is NSW’s largest sector, contributing $66.9 billion to the state’s economy in 2016-17.  In 2017, it contributed 13% of NSW’s entire economic output, while professional services contributed another 9%.
  • NSW is home to almost 60% of Australia’s FinTech startups.
  • NSW’s financial service exports are worth $3.1 billion a year, or 69% of Australia’s total financial services output.
  • Sydney is the epicentre of the Asia Pacific’s professional services industry. Some of the world-class professional services firms currently doing business in Sydney include:
    • law firm, Baker & McKenzie
    • accounting and consulting firm, Deloitte
    • advertising agency, JWT
    • infrastructure services giant, UGL.
  • Sydney is also the largest interest rate derivatives market in Asia.

An easy place to startup

The NSW Government is committed to nurturing and developing financial services businesses, and you’ll find the state offers a supportive and dynamic environment in which to grow. Here are some examples of the advantages of doing business here.

Government-funded projects

The NSW Government-funded Financial Services Knowledge Hub partners with the financial services industry, developing projects that bring together businesses, research organisations and industry associations. As part of its work, it launched Stone & Chalk the Asia Pacific’s largest FinTech hub.

Ideas exchange and collaboration for FinTechs

You’ll also find clusters of FinTech hubs where ideas can be exchanged and developed. Barangaroo, a new precinct in the Sydney CBD, is home to some of the world’s largest professional and financial service firms. Here, FinTech entrepreneurs rub shoulders with the leaders of established financial services organisations to create a centre for innovation and commerce.

Barangaroo is located close to many of Sydney’s most important businesses and institutions. It will soon be even more connected to Western Sydney’s growing financial and professional services hubs through new infrastructure, such as the Sydney Metro.

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Find out more about FinTech in NSW and digital business models.

Access to the best and brightest

Both the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales rank in the top five for business and economics courses across Australia and the top five for graduate employability, as ranked by employers. These universities are less than 15 minutes from Sydney’s CBD, giving you access to world-class graduates.

Fewer barriers to doing business

The NSW Department of Industry supports businesses in financial and professional services by removing barriers to business competitiveness. It also aims to help grow new markets while using government funding and intellectual property to develop the state’s professional services sector.

Meanwhile, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) recently released a world-first class waiver allowing eligible FinTech businesses to test some services for up to 12 months without first having to obtain an Australian financial services or credit licence.

Investment opportunities in financial and professional services

In 2017, more than $80.5 billion of foreign capital was invested directly into NSW’s financial and professional services sectors. Now is the perfect time to capitalise on this investment.

Come to Sydney and NSW while the economy is booming and in this critical growth period for the knowledge and services industries.

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Interested in finding out more about the finance and professional services sector in Sydney and NSW? Get in touch with the NSW Investment Concierge for personal service.

Case study: Pro-invest grows in Australasia through NSW


Since launching in New South Wales in 2010, boutique investment firm Pro-invest Group has opened four hotels and is building five more in Australasia.

Together, these hotels are projected to be worth more than $1 billion.  The firm is bullish about the potential of Australasia’s hospitality real estate market and is raising up to $800 million in equity to build 14-15 more hotels in the region.

Read more about Pro-Invest Group

Case study: Mastercard chooses Sydney to support its vision


Mastercard is harnessing the digital revolution as it seeks to become a leader in mobile wallet and contactless payment technologies. It is relying on Sydney to help realise its vision of ‘a world beyond cash’.

Read the about MasterCard