We asked students to show off their journalistic skills and financial know-how by writing a 800-1,000 word blog or article. The 18-19 age category had to answer to the following question:
Discuss the ways in which technology will affect careers in banking in the future.
The entries were short-listed by our panel of experts, before being reviewed by journalist Iona Bain who determined the winners. The winner for this age category is Lauren McLavy, from Saint George’s Church of England School, Gravesend, Kent.
Here’s what Iona had to say about Lauren's entry:
“This was a winning entry for lots of reasons. It’s focused and engaging, putting forward the pros and cons of new banking technology in a concise, jargon-free way. I particularly liked the human dimension of this piece, which helps to make it more relevant and interesting. Combine that insight with a sharp journalistic style, and this writer shows real promise.”
Lauren McLavy’s entry
“The banking industry is changing everyday with the advances of technology and the attitudes of young people influencing the way everyone deals with their finances. More and more people are banking online and using mobile banking instead of physically going into branches to sort out their financial needs. If this continues, then jobs will decrease in the financial sector and banking industry. This will ultimately affect unemployment rates and the UK’s economy.
People are steering more towards online and mobile banking because it is easy and efficient. A lot of people cannot travel to bank branches because a lot are only open during the day when people are at work or a lot of people have disabilities which prevent them from being able to go. This means there is a vast majority of people that won’t be able to sort out their finances or ask any questions they may have. However, with the advances of technology, we are now able to do a lot of our banking online, creating new bank accounts and asking questions through chats. There are still a lot of jobs that go into online banking and not just the creation of the app itself, but also banking experts to help with the questions that people may have to ask. This opens up a lot of jobs for people within the financial sector therefore ultimately improving the economy. Not all banking jobs will be phased out by the advances in technology. for example, staff will be needed to train the software and they will have to deal with more complex issues as these roles require skills such as personal attention which a machine cannot do. As technology is progressing and a lot of the younger generation are progressing with it, it will allow for a very efficient and sustainable future, especially for the banking industry as people won’t have to faff about going to the branch to sort out their problems, they can just do it with a click of a few buttons. A lot of people also don’t like actually having to talk to other people, especially about their finances, so the advances of mobile and online banking allows them to sort out their finances without the stress of confrontation.
However, there are also a lot of disadvantages of technology. A lot of the older generation still struggle with the way technology is evolving, which means they rely on bank branches to sort out their finances. If banks eventually close due to the way technology is going, then the older generation will really be affected, resulting in financial exclusion. Another disadvantage of branches closing is customer service will be lost. A lot of people still like to go in and physically talk to someone and have a face to face conversation with them, as it is easier to sort out queries and it creates a relationship between the provider and the consumer. The way technology is moving is very beneficial for a lot of people, except for all the people that work in the banking branches. According to the Financial Times, the UK has lost two thirds of bank branches in 30 years. This is thousands of jobs that have been taken away because of the increasing advances of technology. This is causing the financial sector to shrink at a rapid rate and according to the BBC, 13 million people have lost half of local branches. If this continues, unemployment levels will rise resulting in a stress on the economy. According to a global survey by data aggregator Emolument, 47% of financial services employees believe technology is putting their job at risk. This creates a lot of panic throughout the sector which would ultimately affect their job as they wouldn’t be able to focus on the work being done. This would prevent people going to the branches which would further more affect their careers as they are pushing people way from using the branches. Due to the fact there is less demand for banking jobs, it creates more demand for other jobs, which puts even more strain on the economy.
In conclusion, even though the advances of technology is allowing individuals to deal with their finances a lot easier, it is causing a massive strain on jobs within the financial sector. If branches keep closing at the rate they are, then it won’t take long before thousands more people lose their jobs due to the fact that people don’t need to physically go to branches anymore. This will ultimately affect lot of people’s lives and their families and will result is a massive rise in unemployment and a huge strain on the economy.”
Find out more about our Young Financial Journalist competition