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One-third of all bank jobs are now tech-related

The proportion of jobs in banks that are technology-related is growing quickly, accelerated further by the Covid-19 pandemic

One-third of all jobs advertised at UK banks are technology-related, with such roles increasing by 46% over the last three years.

According to a report from global recruitment firm Robert Walters, only 23% of bank jobs were tech-related three years ago.

In the UK, traditional job roles in banks have declined by 42% (about 100,000 jobs) in the last three years, while tech jobs have increased.

The report also said the Covid-19 pandemic will accelerate the move to digital and increase the number of tech roles, as traditional retail banking declines.

“Assuming [banks] successfully make this switch, retail banking as we know it will be changed or, in some instances, disappear – for ever,” said Tom Chambers, senior manager – technology at Robert Walters.

The coronavirus crisis has accelerated this evolution, he added. “Lockdown and social distancing measures mean banks have had no choice but to scale back their retail operations, instead pushing customers towards digital platforms.

“With the people most at risk from Covid-19 also being those who were traditionally 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.”

As a result, Robert Walters predicts that online banking penetration in the UK will hit 90% by the end of 2020, driven by a combination of a Covid-19 legacy, a strong fintech sector and investments by banks in digital technology.

Read more about changing IT roles at banks

Ben Litvinoff, business director at Robert Walters, said: “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 [artificial intelligence] 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.”

Banks are set to transform their operations after the coronavirus. Huge office spaces in urban areas containing thousands of people will become a thing of the past as the remote-working practices adopted to limit the spread of the virus are retained in the post-Covid-19 world.

Jes Staley, CEO at Barclays Bank, which has 85,000 staff, said that after the pandemic, the bank will change how it thinks about its locations. “The notion of putting 7,000 people in a building may be a thing of the past,” he said.

And Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing told investors recently: “Technology is more important than ever – a fact that the coronavirus crisis is serving to highlight very well. Digital business models are the big winners, and this trend won’t suddenly reverse once the pandemic subsides.”

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