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HSF: 6th Global Bank Review 2022 | Banking on People

HSF | Oct 20, 2022

Banking feeling the squeeze - HSF:  6th Global Bank Review 2022 | Banking on PeopleSurveying the current landscape of the financial sector in late 2022, it is hard to avoid the sense of an industry once again facing a severe squeeze.

  • Low carbon squeeze: Global finance is currently facing mounting pressure to invest long-term for a low-carbon, high-tech world in the decades to come, while bracing itself for intense economic headwinds and volatility on the immediate horizon.
  • Attracting and motivating talent challenges:  How to attract and motivate talent is an increasingly vexed question, as a hard-nosed, comp-driven ethos once taken for granted among bankers has given way to more amorphous motivations for aspiring graduates.

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  • Employees are looking for: Even before the shift to a hybrid working environment reset the business model of the industry, junior bankers were showing signs of focusing on a wider range of factors like work/life balance, good corporate citizenship, sustainability and personal development.
  • Job cuts? Some predict that a looming round of job cuts amid a rapidly cooling global economy will bring workers back to their desks, but that is far from certain; given the greater competition from other industries and sectors, an overflow of willing talent can no longer be taken for granted.
  • In a fiercely competitive market which is clearly feeling the impact of disruptive challengers targeting the retail banking space, rising investment in technology is becoming mere price-of-entry.
    • Lenders are expected to reach customers via new routes, such as social media and deploy increasingly sophisticated tools for advanced automation and AI, just to keep up with peers.
    • Such tactics also bring increased scrutiny from regulators intent on ensuring consumers are marketed to as fairly on TikTok as via their local branch, and that AI treats customers equally, rather than entrenching human-built bias. The more tech lenders deploy, the more complexities and online vulnerabilities fraudsters will attempt to exploit.

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  • Higher ethical and social expectations: wider challenge for banks is that policy makers, regulators and society more generally remain determined to impose ever-higher ethical and social expectations on the industry. Meeting these demands will impose a higher cost of doing business on banks.

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