Startups poach investment bank IT staff

Banks will have to collaborate more with IT suppliers as staff leave, drawn to the opportunities of working with startups

Banks might need to step up their collaboration with IT suppliers as IT staff leave, attracted to the excitement of working in finance technology startups.

While banks are trying to increase their digital recruitment, IT professionals are drawn to startups by the opportunity to own their businesses and embark on exciting developments.

According to research from recruitment company Astbury Marsden, in October 2014 banks in London hired 3,400 people – a rise of 46% compared with the same month in 2013.

But Astbury Marsden said banks face competition for the best staff, with investment banks having to replace talented technology staff leaving to join startups.

“We’re already seeing the smaller companies snapping up some of the best technology staff from the investment banks. Banks do not just have to compete with their peers for these staff – they also have to find a way to make the roles they have more attractive to compete with the opportunities created by this new breed of startups.”

One investment bank IT professional told Computer Weekly this is a growing trend. “A lot of my friends and colleagues have left the banking industry because it is not fun any more,” he said.

He said banking IT had become preoccupied with risk and compliance, and people were leaving for more interesting jobs. “They are doing it to work with more interesting technologies, rather than just helping the bank meet industry regulations,” he said.

He warned that joining a startup is not for everyone. “Most people in financial services startups have made their money in banking and can afford to make the change. Most of them work for a share in the business at first."

But he said there is growing demand for IT products and services from startups in the finance sector. “The banks have realised they are not capable of innovating and the way they can do it is through joint ventures and startups.”

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