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The future for banking and employment

20 October, 2020Ouida Taaffe, Rob Thompson and Heather Tilston

Before the Covid-19 crisis, banks were facing fundamental challenges to their business models from fintechs, big techs and from customers themselves. Despite current circumstances those challenges remain, along with a skills gap in the industry. This article looks at those challenges.

From this page you can also download our white paper, The 2020s bankerwhich takes a deeper look at the issues facing financial services. It examines the priorities for banks and sets out why developing skills among staff will be critical to the finance industry's future success.

Stack of coins balancing on building block towerProductivity will be paramount for banks and their clients in the months ahead. They will all have to do much more with fewer resources as the global economy gets back on its feet.

Banks need the right skills and people

Banks will need staff who can quickly move to a digital environment and keep up with fast-changing regulatory and economic demands. They'll also need staff who can build strong relationships with customers. So while banks are uniquely placed to make the most of data and customer insights, people power is still very much required. However, new skills do need to be developed. 

In the last few years, we've found that the industry is re-engaging with qualifications and specialist training.

The industry is adapting to the new landscape and there’s increasing recognition that those who are left need to be more knowledgeable and have a far wider range of skills.

Those skills include risk management, sustainability, governance and ethics as well as digital banking and managing customer relationships via remote channels. 

Professionals must be well trained

Well trained professionals are well placed to help consumers manage increasingly complex financial needs, but also – in this digital age – to avoid scams and costly mistakes. Not only that, companies know all too well that there may be hefty liabilities to face if they do not actively manage mis-selling risks.

So staff who are well qualified are better placed to avoid bear traps but also to:

  • identify opportunities
  • adapt quickly to a fast-changing environment and
  • really focus on developing the services customers want, delivered in the way they want them. 

So is now the time for the sector to start to focus on filling the skills gap? 

How we can help

Professional qualifications used to be the norm in banking, and maybe it's time for the sector to refocus on that.

We're already working with a number of large employers who are doing just that. We have a professional qualifications framework, which can be tailored for retail or commercial banking. Staff can take individual qualifications or combine them to reach chartered status.

Download The 2020s banker (pdf)

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See our Banking qualifications