Bankers and finance professionals are feeling overwhelmed and say the aggressive culture in their office is their biggest cause of stress, new figures reveal.

Research carried out by employment specialist Randstad showed two thirds of workers in the industry said the biggest cause of stress was the amount of work they did while more than a quarter (27%) blamed colleagues’ and managers’ aggressiveness. 

Financial and insurance employees were the second most likely to become stressed by culture behind those working in the arts, entertainment and recreation industries (35%). 

Feeling overwhelmed.

Overall, the study - which was part of the Randstad Employer Brand Research report - said feeling overwhelmed was the biggest cause of stress for the UK workforce.

Finance has traditionally been seen as a male dominated profession and stereotyped as an aggressive and macho environment to work in. However, efforts have been made to clean up its image and curb excesses and practices seen in recent years.

One of the biggest steps forward has been improving diversity and gender equality and the drive for greater female representation at senior level. Groups like the 30% Club have helped put diversity on the news agenda while 85% of Randstad consultants believe there’s a strong level of diversity amongst applicants for financial services roles at all levels.

Alison Starmer, managing director at Randstad client solutions, said the industry had made progressive steps in recent years. “Finance jobs revolve around managing deadlines, meeting targets and making quick and important decisions about money and financial instruments. For that reason, roles are well remunerated but the reality is that days can be stressful.

“For decades the perception has been that finance is a macho environment dominated by alpha-males with a highly competitive and long hours culture. The industry is working hard to change this image. 

“Considerable steps have been made to make finance more accessible and representative and since the 2008 financial crash, employers are increasingly aware of behaviours and ethics. And for good reason - our employer branding report found that many employees ranked a pleasant working atmosphere in their five most important criteria when looking for a new role.”