What will banking look like in the future?

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In 1994 Bill Gates said that “banking is necessary, banks are not”.

25 years later, the future is here and so are banks, but things have changed. The need to visit a bank has almost disappeared, with many of us able to sort most things out online.

Expectations of banks have also shifted, Generation Z (those born between mid-90s and mid-00s) expect their banking to perform as well as all their other online transactions - instantaneous, pleasurable and customer focused. Older millennials who graduated into adulthood during the beginning of the global financial crisis in 2007, have less brand loyalty and a more mercenary approach to their finances. A recent survey of more than 4,000 banking customers, conducted by Bain, Salesforce and MartizCX found that 63% are willing to share their personal financial information with a competing, bank, tech company or FinTech if it means that they can get a better deal. But, despite this and the introduction of legislation to make Open Banking a reality, customers are overwhelmingly sticking with traditional banks. They may be using the odd app, but they still don’t completely trust the tech.

Given the changing landscape, it is not surprising that people working in traditional retail banking are concerned about job security. With tech giants set to become a permanent part of the banking landscape and banks evolving to be more like the innovative tech start-ups, it’s clear that a new type of employee will be needed. Paul Barrett, Head of Wellbeing at the Bank Workers Charity has noted that;

“Employees will need to continuously learn if they are to avoid being left behind. This especially applies to an older worker whose employability will be compromised if they don’t re-equip themselves.”

The situation is not unique to banks, we all need to adapt to technological change. The banks adapted to the threat of FinTechs by buying them up, partnering with them and learning from them. In the future, bank employees will need to do the same, continuously develop their skills to make sure that their career thrives. Jobs will not disappear, they will change; our customer service reps may become holograms or AI’s, but recruitment in risk, compliance, big data and digital will continue to accelerate. Just as people who worked in liveries took industrial jobs with the advent of rail, instead of being daunted, we all have to reskill and adapt to the digital revolution. Personal growth is the key to career development. We are now told that instead of preparing for one career we should get ready for five, there will still be banks, but they will be different, employees will have to adapt like their organisation. Instead of being resistant to change we should be resilient in the face of it.

At BWC, we exist to support the health and wellbeing of the banking community. Learning to understand your resilience, recognising where it is weak and taking steps to build it will help you manage stressful situations better.

Take a few minutes to do a personal resilience check.

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