Recruitment timelines in banking


Graduate schemes in the banking and financial services organisations

Many of the large banks and finance organisations have fixed recruitment timelines and it’s important to be aware of these cycles if you are applying in this sector. Banks usually started recruiting in early summer for both full time graduate vacancies and summer internships the following year.

Graduate roles are a common way to start your career in the financial services sector following your degree.

Here are some important facts to know about graduate scheme applications:

  • The recruitment for graduate schemes usually happens a year in advance.
  • Applications open early, for some employers this can be as early as July/August.
  • Applications are usually accepted on a rolling basis meaning you can apply as soon as the application system opens and employers will view your application on a first come first served basis.This means if you wait for the deadline there may be limited or no vacancies left to fill.
  • Application deadlines vary from one employer to the other.
  • If you have visa restrictions, the earlier you apply the better, to enable the company to go through the administrative procedure.

So our advice is to apply as soon as you feel ready and not to wait for deadlines: the earlier you apply, the more roles are available.


Many of the banks have a very set graduate recruitment pathway but if you have missed the application deadline date for a specific organisation, all is not lost. It’s important to try and build your experience through looking for alternatives such as smaller organisations with more flexible recruitment patterns or looking for off-cycle internship opportunities. It’s also worth speaking with LSE alumni within the organisation to improve your knowledge of what they do so you are better prepared for the next recruitment round.


More flexibility in SME and elsewhere in the world

Although graduate programmes are the main route to join the largest organisations in the sector, the majority of opportunities are situated in the small and medium sized enterprises (SME). 

Many of the boutiques or niche financial services organisations also recruit graduate analysts. Some have similar deadlines to the large organisations but they can offer more flexibility and some recruit  for direct roles when they have vacancies to fill. If you have visa restrictions, the smaller organisations sometimes find it more difficult to sponsor, therefore you should check with the employer if they are willing to sponsor your visa.

Outside of the UK, recruitment timelines vary according to the country. In Asia the deadlines can be slightly earlier and in the US they often recruit directly through universities. Therefore it’s important to check the details directly with the recruiters in the country you wish to apply to.


Recruitment for internships and spring weeks

Internships, insight weeks or spring weeks are often the first step towards a graduate programme. Some companies expect the students to do these prior to applying for a graduate programme.

If you are a 2nd year student, you may want to apply to an internship. This recruitment cycle is the same for summer internships as it is for graduate schemes. The applications often open at the same time, a year in advance and they also recruit on a rolling basis.

And if you are a 1st year student, the banking and financial services organisations often offer spring weeks, insight days, or open days. This is a great way to get a flavour for the financial services industry and start to develop connections with employers 

Here are the usual timelines for opening and closing dates. Remember that the most reliable information is always on the recruiter’s website and you should set reminders to check their sites regularly.


Graduate schemes

Application deadlines


Assessment centres/interviews


Start time



Application deadlines


Start time


Spring weeks

Application deadlines


Start time



The LSE Careers Banking and Financial Services Fair, the LSE Careers Business and Management Fair as well as the LSE Careers Internship Fair in Michaelmas Term are a good way to meet employers and begin to research the organisations in person.

Here are some links to get additional information about applications in banking and finance. On some of these sites, you may find lists of application deadline dates:

Efinancial careers is the best website for the latest information on finance roles,

Efinancial careers have compiled a list of graduate and internship deadlines (correct at the time of publishing): 

Save the student also lists a large number of deadlines for various employers and roles:

Websites targeting graduate employment: