Web design for financial services firms

A new motto for financial services: design and grow

When we receive a financial services web design brief it’s often with a request for a style that can best be described as ‘restrained’.

Invariably their partner companies, clients and suppliers think the same way they do – that a formal, elegant approach suits their industry best.

It’s this understanding of a relevant form and style that forms the basis of any best practice website design work for London’s busy finance industry.

A city livery

Legendary businesses in the City of London such as Goldman Sachs, Bloomberg and Barclays as well as countless Hedge Funds, Investment Management companies as well as Accountancy and Legal firms tack to this more corporate design style – and it’s a school of design we’re familiar with. But it’s also important to remember that although this style will be on brand, no client likes to be bored by their new website.

We believe the best way of managing a sound response to such a brief is to pair a creative, modern design layout with a minimal and elegant creative approach.

A new kind of city livery: one that deploys this clean approach and is also forward-looking and ideally long-lasting.

financial services website design

Montrose Capital’s website – an example of best practice financial services website design work

A sound new business strategy

Our experience again and again is that many Financial, Legal and Accountancy firms tend to dismiss the influence their website can have – an opinion we think could be worth reconsidering.

This negative view towards websites is often formed because key marketing personnel are so flat out focussing on the management of vital existing clients, that new opportunities can often be passed by.

But the influence a website can have is worth looking at… and here’s why.

Firstly, the sheer number of your potential clients who, at a loss to know who to hire to assist them, just resort to a straightforward Google search, is staggering. Without a persuasive web presence, never mind one that has plenty of relevant content about key services and thus ‘search engine-friendly’, these clients can evaporate.

Secondly, that site needs to be kept fresh, both from a design and content perspective. This is the tough one for a time-poor marketing team. Keeping content fresh (via News posts, or a regular cycle created by the turnover of financial reporting) won’t just appeal to the ‘random’ Google searcher but possibly even more to the people you really want to persuade: who have been referred to your site.

If when they arrive at the website and it’s a few months (or, worst case scenario, and not at all unusual: years out of date) they invariably just move on.

Our advice: work on the design and content on an ongoing basis with the same energy as you apply when looking after existing financial services or legal clients. Your efforts will pay off.

Longwall Venture Partners LLP – an example of best practice financial services website design work

Good financial services web design infers trust

It’s often assumed that your regular clients will never visit your website – why would they? they already know us, goes the logic – but we believe this is not a safe assumption.

Simple instances like using the site to find your office via the map on your Contact page or hunting your number quickly when they a client is simply picking up the phone, are incredibly common. Then, when the site appears and… it’s that same one they remember from five years ago, they could be mistaken for thinking that your business had begun to let things slide. And if the site has been neglected, what else is?

When a Financial Services, Legal or Accountancy firm’s website is in tune with all the other design elements in its ‘world’, and feels like a natural continuation from the design of letterheads or the signage at reception, that website can be as logical a business tool as a business card. We consider it as essential a part of the business process as the handshake at a meeting.

With all these elements in tune, your website can deliver something incredibly important: trust.

financial services website design

Montrose Capital’s website – an example of best practice financial services website design work

‘We were recommended to Richard by an advisor and asked for help in a website redesign and redevelopment.

‘Richard and his team went to great lengths to understand the purpose of the product and then offer suitable design alternatives, none of which we would have arrived at without his help. The final product is a clear, efficient company website which is user-intuitive, well-presented and adaptable for future modifications.

‘Achieving a simple result is a complicated task and this is what Richard excels at! The studio’s work exemplifies forward thinking and good design.

‘Highly recommended!’


Build something different: build client relationships

Many Financial Services and Accounting firms today are after something that perhaps is a little more challenging that what has gone before.

That’s not to say that we’re talking about a radical re-appraisal of their business online, or that the site is going to be avant-garde in design terms, but rather that it harnesses modern technology in a way that services their clients better.

The kind of services that firms like financial analysts or hedge funds could offer include;

  • Client login areas allowing for the download of financial records
  • The inclusion of Investor Relations areas, as your business goes public and has to comply with stock market regulations
  • Pop-up ‘agree / decline’ Terms and Conditions panels on the homepage to comply with FCA regulations
    (see below)
  • Plus, we believe all websites today should be designed and built to be completely responsive, and work on platforms from smartphones, tablets, laptops and of course the wide-screen monitors used in all financial services, legal and accounting businesses today.
financial services website design

Mansford – an example of best practice financial services website design work