Fifth of FI workforces could be gig economy talent

In the next five years gig workers could take up to 15 to 20 per cent of the work of a typical financial institution, according to PwC.

A new report by the professional services firm found that 52 per cent of financial institutions say they expect to have more gig-based employees in the next three to five years.

As it stands, gig-economy talent makes up just 5 per cent of the current financial services workforce.

According to the research, which surveyed more than 500 financial services companies globally, importing the digital and specialist skill sets of gig workers is “critical to driving digitisation and upskilling” within the financial services market.

But the survey also identified a number of challenges associated with taking on more gig economy workers.

The survey revealed that the most common concerns include confidentiality concerns (44 per cent), a lack of knowledge (43 per cent), regulatory risk (42 per cent ) and overall risk avoidance (37 per cent).

“Leaders in the industry are looking seriously at their workforces to evaluate which roles need to be performed by permanent employees and which can be performed by gig-economy workers, contractors or even crowd-sourced on a case-by-case basis,” said John Garvey, PwC’s global financial services leader, PwC US. “COVID-19 and remote working have opened the door to accessing talent outside of a firm’s physical location, including outside of the country. What we are seeing now is a talent marketplace for gig workers in financial services, competing to take advantage of their specialist skill set and boost productivity within their businesses.”

Nicole Wakefield, PwC's global financial services advisory leader, PwC Singapore, adds, "Gig economy workers also add value by immediately bringing the digital skills needed by financial services firms to improve functions such as customer experience and improving institutional resilience, while the full-time workforce is being upskilled."

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