Why banks have become a hotbed for tech recruitment

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New technology roles in banks have increased by 46 per cent in the past three years – making traditional banks the most prominent recruiter in that field.

A third of overall job vacancies currently within banks is now tech related – jumping from less than a quarter (23%) just three years ago.

The findings come in a new report from global recruiter Robert Walters and market analysis experts Vacancy Soft and highlight the impact of Covid-19 on the banking sector – Fintech: Challenger to Competitor.

Tom Chambers, Senior Manager – Technology at Robert Walters puts it down to social distancing measures meant banks have had “no choice but to scale back their retail operations” and push customers towards digital platforms.

“With the most at risk to Covid-19 also being the ones who traditionally were 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,” he said.


“Assuming they successfully make this switch, retail banking as we know it will be changed – or in some instances disappear – forever.”

In the past five years alone, we’ve seen banks race against the clock to create smartphone friendly apps, which provide the same level of service and accessibility as some of the popular fintech platforms

With the UK having one of the world’s highest adoption rates of digital and online banking – growing by 32 per cent in the past  10 years – it seems the digital cultural shift was already taking place.

In fact, adoption rates of online banking was at an all-time high of 73% in 2019, with most users accessing platforms via smart phones compared to tablets or computers. 

Robert Walters analysts predict online banking penetration will reach 90 per cent by the end of 2020, driven predominantly by COVID-19, the fast-growing presence of fintechs, and the increased investment from banks into their digital product.

Ben Litvinoff, Business Director, said: “Traditional banks have come under criticism for their service offering during the COVID-19 outbreak, with calls from for the financial services industry to work more closely with fintech counterparts to better utilise data and improve customer service.

“In the past five years alone, we’ve seen banks race against the clock to create smartphone friendly apps, which provide the same level of service and accessibility as some of the popular fintech platforms.

“However beyond apps, 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 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.”