Financial Services Industry to Benefit from Ministry of Defence’s 20,000 Jobs Cull (Photo: Reuters)
Financial Services Industry to Benefit from Ministry of Defence’s 20,000 Jobs Cull (Photo: Reuters)

Britain's financial services industry could benefit from the UK's Ministry of Defence plan to shed 20,000 jobs by 2020 as it aims plug a £38bn black hole in its budget.

According to a forecast by the Lighthouse Group's chief executive officer Malcolm Streatfield, former army personnel may be fearful of what the future may hold for them career-wise but financial services could be the right fit for out-of-work servicemen.

"We have lost 10,000 people from the advice sector in the past 18 months, partially due to regulatory change within the sector, and that knowledge gap needs to be filled," said Streatfield.

"The key characteristics and core competencies of a good professional financial advisor are intrinsically linked to the qualities that form the base foundations of a good competent member of the armed forces.

"In both careers it is essential to be disciplined, determined and have great attention to detail, so the potential is there for ex-serviceman to be retrained and for them to enjoy a long and successful career as a professional financial adviser."

The Lighthouse Group has already followed suit and hired ex-flight sergeant Andy Stafford-Smith.

After swapping a career in the armed forces for the financial services sector in 1995 after two decades, he now is the recruitment director at Lighthouse Advisory Services.

"After completing 20 years' service including 2 overseas tours, 2 tours on VIP duties and having reached the rank of flight sergeant, I decided to exercise my option to leave the Royal Air Force (RAF)," said Stafford-Smith.

"Having done so, I had to decide on what career path I wanted to tread. I knew that I had discipline, drive, ambition and I enjoyed problem solving. In addition to that I enjoyed meeting people, didn't particularly want fixed hours and I wanted the opportunity to have some control over my earnings.

"After attending a resettlement course on financial services, I decided that this career path met all of my criteria and so the journey began."