Overview of the industry

Banks are siloed and too often operate each channel in a vacuum. For example, branch hours and staffing levels fail to take into account mobile and online banking usage. If a branch is located in an urban area and has high rates of mobile and online banking adoption with its customers, should hours be shorter or staffing leaner?

Better Definition of the Goals of Branch Technology. Banks continue to invest in better technology for its branches, from touchscreens to video conferencing to increasingly sophisticated ATMs. Banks score highly in the innovation category but do not score as well in being selective with it. The tendency is still to invest first and ask questions later by rolling out expensive technology across much of the network before fully understanding ROI.

Banks will need to better define the goals of branch technology and subsequently be able to measure the technology’s impact on those goals. Innovation is critical, but it must also be aligned with a purpose. Define the goals up front and select new technologies that align with those goals.

Drive More Revenue Outside of the Branch. The Holy Grail for banks is figuring out how to make money from mobile and online channels. However, most banks have not succeeded in adding fees for using those new services. A few have added and kept new fees, but others are afraid of the backlash seen when adding fees for things they are accustomed to receiving for free. Some banks are not ready to jeopardize their client portfolio as they are aware some customers simply will not pay for things, even if it is delivered through a more convenient channel..

Bifurcation of the Branch. There will be two types of branches in the future: small footprint, technology-heavy branches with light staffing and a low cost structure along with a smaller number of larger and more expensive branches with full-service staffing. Significant progress has been made on this front since 2013..

Recruitment trends in the industry

The recruitment trends for consumer finance and retail banking are largely dictated by regulatory changes, technology simplification and digital along with governance. Banks are still recovering from the spate of derivatives trading scandals and Libor and this focus combined with Basel III is still driving the recruitment demand in the industry. In both functions, there is a call for individuals with technical expertise combined with the ability to work with senior regulators. The revolution in mobile banking continues to change deeply the business model of retail banks. Banks need the technical knowledge to face those challenges.

Retail Banking groups have reconfigured and realigned to core business in order to move forward. Salaries unfortunately within this sector have remained at the same level they have been for the last years and recruitment in this sector. While some banking groups are still making redundancies, candidates with the relevant qualifications and experience who meet client requirements are sought.

Consultants within Asquare Partners are passionate in their vertical market. We are convinced that knowledge is power and our deep understanding of our specialised industries is a key factor in the services we provide.

Mapping – Functional practice vs Industries