Just over a year ago, we set out on an ambitious task: identifying the banker of the future. We had read endless articles about what we didn’t want from banking talent in the future in light of the financial crisis, but felt there was a conspicuous absence of dialogue around what we did want and need from banking talent in the years ahead.
Our Banker of the Future project brought together some of the industry’s most innovative and forward-thinking organisations to share their perspectives, challenges and opportunities. We combined the latest academic and business thinking with practical case studies of what was actually happening within organisations to craft an aspirational, yet achievable view of the Banker of the Future.
What did we find?
Three key messages emerged from our research:
- Reconnecting with purpose
The banking industry has been through significant change in recent years – both as a result of the global financial crisis, and in light of a changing competitive landscape with the rise of FinTech companies. As a result, many banks – including members of the programme – are revisiting their purpose to ensure that it was an accurate reflection of the value they add, and a compelling proposition for potential and current employees. However, our research revealed that the core challenge for the banking industry was not reinventing its purpose as such, but reconnecting with it. Despite the many transformations taking place in the industry, BoF members concluded that the essence of banking remains the same: enabling economic growth; facilitating the exchange of value between parties; and simply making day-to-day life possible for individuals within a society.
- Projecting the skills, capabilities and mindsets that will be required within banks in the future
The nature of work in banking will continue to shift in the years ahead, with future jobs likely to be focused on ‘uniquely human skills’ such as creativity, empathy and innovation. In many regions, increasing r
egulatory requirements on investment banking activities will push established banks into ‘capital light’ areas such as high touch advisory services that require complex collaboration between multiple stakeholders. As such, banks will need people who are skilled at delivering complex, non-routine work, and adept at combining ideas and expertise with others in order to arrive at new solutions.
- Crafting the Culture
Culture has been under the spotlight in banks since the financial crisis and a persistent challenge has been around creating a common culture that pervades the entire organisation. In the final phase of our research we uncovered three tenets of culture that are essential if organisations are to activate their purpose on a daily basis, and if they are to unleash the full potential of their future workforce. Within this, we explored what needs to happen for individuals to unleash their diverse perspectives, what the new deal between organisations and talent will look like, and how banks must co-create the future with their employees.
We concluded this research programme with great optimism for what banks will be able to achieve in the years ahead if they are armed with the insights they need about the future of work in their industry. We were inspired by how much activity is already taking place in the most forward-thinking organisations.
Find out more about our Banker of the Future research by contacting Emma Birchall, Head of Insight and Forecasting.