A third of all jobs within banks are now tech-related

  • New tech roles in UK banks have increased by 46% in the last three years, according to novel research from global recruiter Robert Walters.

    This suggests that to date, a third of overall job vacancies within banks are now technology-related, making traditional banks “the most prominent recruiter for tech professionals.”

    This is in comparison with less than a quarter (23%) of tech roles in banks three years ago.

    The findings come from Robert Walters’ new report with market analysers Vacancy Soft, which highlights the impact of COVID-19 on the banking sector.

    Tom Chambers, senior tech manager at Robert Walters said: “Lockdown and social distancing measures mean that banks have had no choice but to scale back their retail operations, instead pushing customers towards digital platforms.

    “With the most at risk to COVID-19 also being the ones who traditionally were the most reliant on counter services, the societal challenge will be to help the elderly use banking services online - where their motivation is that they simply don’t have a choice.

    “Assuming they successfully make this switch, retail banking as we know it will be changed – or in some instances disappear - forever.”


    The company also said that the UK’s adoption of digital and online banking has grown by 32% in the last 10 years, and its analysts predict online banking usage to reach 90% by the end of 2020, driven predominantly by COVID-19.

    Ben Litvinoff, business director at Robert Walters explained: “Traditional banks have come under criticism for their service offering during the COVID-19 outbreak, with calls from for the financial services industry to work more closely with fintech counterparts to better utilise data and improve customer service.

    “In the past five years alone, we’ve seen banks race against the clock to create smartphone friendly apps, which provide the same level of service and accessibility as some of the popular fintech platforms.

    “However beyond apps, fintechs have remained one step ahead in their digital offering and during the pandemic have been well-placed to take market share on digital lending, guaranteeing deposits, direct debit payments, and fast-paced decision making powered by AI and data.

    “In turn, banks and financial services firms have woken up to this and have been growing their tech teams at a much faster pace than their fintech challengers.”

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    In the last three years the percentage of tech vacancies advertised for fintechs has decreased by 2%, but still these roles make up 46% of their overall jobs.

    Tom Chambers added that “the impact of Brexit and regulation can certainly be seen here. Professional vacancies within legal, change management, and risk grew in fintechs as companies have been forced to prepare for leaving the single market.”

    Dan Simmonite, business director at Robert Walters commented: “Where banks have been off-shoring or looking at ways to automate or streamline traditional roles, the cost saving from this is going back into a heightened investment into digital infrastructure – where the teams are based in the UK.

    “This change is most evident when you compare the decline of traditional job roles within banks in the UK – a decline of 42% over the past three years (equivalent to 100,000 jobs) – to the growth of tech roles, currently standing at 46% increase in the last three years."

    Ahsan Iqbal, director of technology within regions at the firm concluded: “Where in some cases banks are offshoring or nearshoring traditional roles, the strength of tech talent in the UK has meant that tech departments are here to stay.

    “Tech hubs outside of the capital – namely Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool – have now built strong foundations rivalling what is available if the City or Shoreditch for a lower cost.

    “As living costs also continue to be a concern for professionals, the regions will be able to hold onto or attract tech talent that would have otherwise left for London and other European cities.”

    RELATED: Danske Bank NI reports £21.1m profit in 2020 so far, despite COVID-19 outbreak

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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