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New England Council Unveils 2017 Regional Financial Sector Report

On June 29th, the New England Council met in Concord, NH to present its annual report on the region’s financial sector, “The New England Financial Services Industry: Around the Corner and Around the World.”

After welcoming remarks by NH Governor Chris Sununu, the report was presented by PwC, followed by a panel discussion comprised of representatives from several large regional institutions, including Fidelity Investments, Liberty Mutual Insurance, and TD Bank.

In addition to outlining the state of the region’s financial sector, which includes the banking, insurance, and asset management industries, the Report included some interesting historical tidbits, including:

  • In 1829, Massachusetts became the first state to pass a comprehensive law regulating banks;
  • In 1909, the first credit union in the country was founded in New Hampshire; and
  • In 1981, Vermont became the first state to pass captive insurance legislation.

Turning to metrics, the report highlighted the importance of the financial sector to employment in New England:

  • In 2015, the sector employed 375,460 direct jobs, 7th most of any industry in the region. These figures represented an increase in employment as compared to 2014;
  • Average wages in the sector were $157,674 in 2015, an increase of 3.7% over 2014. Overall, wages in the sector have grown 26% between 2009 and 2015;
  • By state, Connecticut wages in the sector were highest at $188, 741, and Maine was lowest at just over $80,000; and
  • In 2015, the financial sector supported 247,050 indirect jobs and 390,020 induced jobs.

Within the banking sector, there were 3,051 bank branches and 1,200 credit union offices in the region in 2015. The region’s banks reported higher than average commercial loan performance in terms of remaining current on balances. Savings banks also play a large and unique role in New England as nearly half of all savings deposits nationally in 2015 were made in the region.

In the asset management sector, the region represents 11.5% of the nation’s employment. Among the top 50 hedge funds nationally, 28% of assets under management were in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Additionally, there are 457 private equity firms that call New England home. In Massachusetts, Fidelity Investments and State Street Global Advisors are, respectively, the 3rd and 4th largest defined benefit and defined contribution money managers in the country.

In the insurance industry, New England is home to 6.9% of all people directly employed within the industry nationally, and is home to 11.5% of all insurance actuaries. Connecticut hosts 9% of the nation’s property and casualty insurers.

Topics: Current Events in Banking, Operations