Financial Services
Financial Services

Toronto is North America’s third largest financial centre and Canada’s financial and business capital.

The Toronto region’s Financial Sector is recognized globally as sound, safe, vibrant and innovative and is ranked in the region’s top 100 best places to work. Its strengths include strategic planning, financial product development, risk management and systems design as well as training and development. Over the past several years this sector has seen many changes, including the growth of credit unions, and the diversification of product offerings.Toronto’s share of Canada’s financial services employment has also risen over the past decade. From 2002, Toronto accounted for 27.9% of employment in Canada, which then rose to 30.6% in 2013. 

Toronto is the centre for over 10% of Canadian economic activity, at $123 billion. It contributes 12% to Toronto’s Gross Municipal Product.

The financial services sector is a key driver of our local, provincial and national economy, employing over 251,000 people. 100,000 of those work in Toronto-the highest concentration of direct financial service employment in Canada. Between 2000 and 2010 the Toronto region’s Financial Service Sector’s workforce grew by 36.7%.

According to the latest census date, the financial services sector is one of Toronto's major clusters. It directly employs a quarter of a million people, including everyone from tellers and insurance agents in local offices to headquarters staff of multinationals in the metro area. In the area of investment services, the skills and expertise of 2,400 Certified Financial Planners, 100 Certified Alternative Investment Analysts and about 3,000 Fund Administrators serve the growing and diverse needs of clients.

Toronto’s Financial Services Sector sustains many other industries as a leading consumer of resources, including: law, accounting, information, communications, technology (ICT), education/training and business services. The Financial Sector is one of the most ICT intensive, and between 5-10% of the ICT workforce is directly employed by financial institutions and the related professional services organizations. Toronto Financial Services Alliance identifies Infrastructure Engineer and Systems Integration Developer as the most in demand technological jobs.

Labour Force

As of June 2010, there were 61,946 small to medium size businesses operating in the Finance and Insurance Sector. Most of these were in securities, commodity contracts, financial investment, credit intermediation, funds and other related activities subsectors. Most of the people (93%) in financial and industrial services are full-time employees.

Financial institutions have a workforce that is more than 50% female. In Securities, females make up more than 38% of the total workforce, and in Insurance females account for more than 60%.

Age profile 

Almost 30,000 financial service workers are now 55 years old or older-28% of the total workforce. In 1995, there were only 6,830 workers in that category. The largest percentage of workers aged 55 and older work in insurance as compared to banking and investment organizations.

Educational attainment 

Toronto’s financial services sector is a magnet for highly educated, diverse and career-motivated talent. The fifteen-year trend shows that the number of people in the industry with a university degree is growing. In 1995, there were 53,000 people with post-secondary education, there are currently 111,310, 50% of the total workforce in the region.  About 84% of the financial services workforce has post-secondary accreditation in addition to industry-specific designations - many have Master’s in Business Administration (MBA’s) and other financial industry designations.

Toronto boasts four universities and four colleges, with a further ten post-secondary institutions which help prepare people for a career in financial services. Three of Toronto's universities are internationally recognized business schools, offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs in business, finance and commerce. Schulich School of Business at York University is ranked among the top 10 business schools globally by The Economist and Business Week. University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management's MBA program is ranked in the top 15 in North America by the Financial Times magazine.

Key facts 
  • Toronto is one of the easiest cities in the world to do business. It’s ranked number two by Price Water House Coopers in the category “Intellectual capital and innovation," and number three overall in Cities of Opportunity study of economic leaders.
  • Two of the largest ten global insurers operate in Toronto.
  • Four of the world’s largest twenty-five banks - Roya Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank and Scotiabank - and five of Canada's largest domestic banks are in Toronto.
  • The Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) is Canada’s largest security exchange, the third largest in North America and the 8th largest in the world.
  • The Toronto Stock Exchange and TSX Venture Exchange combined have the largest number of listed companies globally in the oil and gas, mining, and clean-tech sectors.
  • 3.1% of Canada's GDP was accounted for by Toronto's banking sector with $7.9 billion paid in taxes in 2013. 
  • 131 of the 211 securities dealers operating in Canada are headquartered in Ontario, including 123 in the Greater Toronto Area.
  • Three of the top 50 largest investment firms in Canada are based in Toronto.
  • Three of the four largest property and casualty insurers in Canada are located in Toronto.
  • Seven of the top 10 largest global hedge fund administrators operate in Toronto.
  • Toronto is home to 13 domestic banks.
  • Toronto has 3 of the world's top 58 pension funds.
  • 2 of the world's top life insurance companies operate in Toronto.
  • 129 securities firms are located in Toronto.
  • Toronto is home to 55 foreign subsidaries.
  • Toronto has the 3rd largest stock exhange in North America.