Retail banks ‘set for IT skills shortage’
Written by Anthony Strzalek
The majority (85 per cent) of retail bank IT leaders acknowledge that they will face an IT skills shortage within the next five years, according to research from Peru Consulting.
The report also revealed that 41 per cent of the tech bosses surveyed believe that the best professionals are likely to be lost from the ‘traditional’ banking sector in favour of the more ‘exciting’ GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple) companies. In fact, GAFA companies are seen as even greater skills magnets than the current FinTech startups (cited by 37 per cent of respondents).
Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of retail bank IT directors claimed that lack of access to the best skills is the biggest challenge they face.
This reinforces the fact that banks are going to need to increase their efforts significantly to recruit and retain the best people and knowledge. This in a sector where a lack of investment in new technology is cited by 30 per cent of IT leaders as being their greatest challenge in keeping up with, let alone staying ahead of, the competition.
Ashley Pick, principal consultant at Peru Consulting, commented: “The banking market in recent years has seen an explosion of new entrants, with brands offering exciting cultures and ways of working. In many cases suppliers or acquisitions have been used to fill the skills gap, but those also have come with their own difficulties.”
Gail Danvers, director of PSD’s banking and financial services business, added: “The banks are experiencing an identity crisis that’s having an impact on talent attraction, particularly in technology. This is partly due to the negativity associated with banking following the credit crunch, but culture also plays a big part.
“When choosing a company to work at, Millennials are very careful to consider the culture. They crave an environment where innovation and entrepreneurship is encouraged, valued and rewarded, not a pure office-based environment where they are attached to a computer and measured by output rather than ideas.”