Young woman at dusk in London

Supporting future growth in times of great change

    UK Annual Results 2020

    At a time of intense disruption and change, we’ve been focused on supporting our people, clients and the communities we operate in.

    The challenges posed by COVID-19 have meant that so many have suffered loss and uncertainty – we have sought to use our skills and expertise to help our clients and the Government, and to do everything we can to support the well-being of our people.

    Our performance over the last financial year, in which pre-pandemic growth was strong, has meant that we have been able to increase investment in talent, technology and audit across the UK as well as progressing our commitments on social mobility and diversity.

    As a result, we are well placed to help the UK respond to a uniquely complex and challenging environment and to prepare for the future. 

    Hywel Ball, UK Chair, Ernst & Young LLP
    Edited by Hywel Ball

    EY UK Chair and UK&I Managing Partner, Ernst & Young LLP

    UK Chair and UK&I Managing Partner. Leading our 17,000 people in the UK. FTSE 100 audit partner. Father of three and Welsh rugby fan.

    An interview with Hywel Ball

    Hywel Ball, UK Chair, Ernst & Young LLP gives an update on the performance of the firm over the last financial year. 

    Duration: 03m 55s | Read the transcript

    Our people

    Our people are vital to EY's current and future success. Despite a challenging economic backdrop, we have also continued to expand our headcount. We have hired more than 3,000 people across the UK over the last financial year, with 30% based outside of London, and we’ve also continued to progress our diversity and social mobility agendas.   

    Despite COVID-19, we’ve honoured all the conditional offers we made to students prior to A-level results. More than 1,000 graduates and apprentices joined EY this year and 45% of them are based outside London. 43% of our student intake were women and 41% were from an ethnic minority.

    EY appointed 65 new equity Partners between 1 July 2019 and 3 October 2020, of whom 26% are women and 19% are from an ethnic minority. 

    Supporting diversity and inclusion

    Diversity, inclusion and creating an environment in which all our people feel they belong are key focus areas for EY. We’ve set ambitious diversity targets and have made new anti-racism commitments. For example, from next year’s intake onwards, 30% of work experience places on our EY Foundation programmes will be offered to young black people. 

    The EY Foundation – EY’s independent charity – supported over 6,780 young people and worked with over 340 employers over the last year.

    Life at EY

    EY Assurance apprentice Diva Bhagi shares her experience of apprenticeship life since the COVID-19 pandemic. 


    Duration: 02m 44s | Read the transcript

    More than


    new graduates and apprentices joined EY this year


    We asked three leaders from our Race & Ethnicity Network to share challenges they have faced, and their thoughts on the renewed anti-racism commitments EY has made this year.

    Duration: 04m 22s | Read the transcript

    Alone we can’t achieve the scale needed to make business more diverse, so EY is also collaborating with others on important initiatives including continuing to fund the Parker Review, and joining the CBI’s Change the Race: Ratio campaign.

    These steps are crucial because, given the great challenges faced by business and society, doing the same as before may not be enough. Fresh thinking and new ideas will be essential. Diversity and inclusion will help us deliver that.

    Fuelling growth through learning, technology and innovation

    We have continued to make significant investments in new technology to provide greater insights, services and efficiencies to our clients and our own business. Even during this time of disruption and change, we’ve maintained an emphasis on learning and development for our people.

    Over the last financial year, the average EY employee in the UK spent around 40 hours on learning and development, with all training courses moved online due to the pandemic. 

    In June 2020, EY launched a new tech MBA degree in association with Hult International Business School, which is available free of charge to all 284,000 EY people in more than 150 countries, and is focused on technology, leadership and business skills.

    In FY20, EY also launched Wavespace London Bridge, which is part of the firm’s global network of growth and innovation centers. The Wavespace team helps organisations undergoing significant change to address key business challenges – from making complex global supply chains more sustainable to using AI to help manage tax compliance.

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    Careers at EY

    two people installing solar panels

    Committed to sustainability

    As part of a commitment to environmental sustainability, EY has announced a 10-year zero carbon Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) in the UK this month.


    EY’s long-term commitment significantly contributes to a new solar power station project, based in Norfolk, being realised and commercially viable by providing certainty of revenue at a fixed price for 10 years. Over the term of the PPA, the renewable energy delivered by the utility scale solar power station will mean that nearly 100% of all electricity the firm purchases direct from energy providers will be counted as zero-carbon solar power.


    By the end of this calendar year, in both the UK and globally, EY will be carbon neutral.

    Read the press release


    Investing in audit quality

    Audit quality continues to be a key priority for EY. We have added 700 people to our UK audit teams, increased spending on new technology and now audit 24 of the FTSE 100.

    As part of a further multi-year investment to improve the consistency of audit quality - and respond to the increased expectations placed on audit - EY has also launched a redesigned audit quality strategy. This includes a continued focus on developing a culture of professional skepticism, management support of audit partners, further investments in data-driven audit processes and additional training for our teams.

    Download the EY UK 2020 Audit Quality report (PDF, 681KB)

    Financial performance

    Looking ahead – A future that demands change

    At a time when the existing challenges we face as a society – rising inequality, new technologies, climate change – are being compounded by COVID-19 and, in the UK, by Brexit, it’s clear we are facing a period of intense disruption and significant change.

    We are committed to helping our clients adapt to the present, transition to the future and access new opportunities. We will continue to invest in talent, technology and audit and be guided by our purpose – Building a better working world.

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