The Europe-wide survey showed that financial services companies are more likely than any other sector to turn to external suppliers for training and development.
More than 85% of banking and finance companies use outside trainers.
In pay and benefits, only the pharmaceutical industry outsources more, while in recruitment and selection banking comes third with around 70% of companies using external suppliers, slightly less than in manufacturing, but well below the pharma industry's 80%.
The study, which covered 4,000 large and medium-sized organisations around Europe, also found that US-owned organisations were more likely to outsource than their European counterparts, particularly in the areas of outplacement and pay and benefits.
Companies in France, Belgium and the Netherlands were the most enthusiastic users of external HR services and, interestingly, companies with larger HR departments were also likely to outsource more.