Shaping the Future ll – Finding the Banker of Tomorrow

Lydia Goutas is Managing Partner of Cornerstone Vienna and an authority on the current evolution of the banking industry. Following is Part 2 of her remarks to a recent conference on the challenges of finding the bank employees of tomorrow. Read Part 1 here.

Bank of Tomorrow

The future of banking includes meeting candidate expectations of brand and security while also providing the attraction of challenging content, career development, leadership, work-life balance, a higher salary, demand for flextime, less travel/more self-determination and a campus environment with internal networking opportunities.

These are trends we saw in the transformation of the Telco environment and era –but they are very new to the banking sector.

Russell Perry, founder & CEO of 350 Kompany. a successful regtech serving 25 banks in Germany, UK and Austria, commented:

“What we do see in the tech space, specifically RegTech, is that specialists are finally no longer geographically bound but need to be on-site for the on-boarding process. Banks or traditional companies are not set up for this or are just slowly moving in that direction.

“There are good examples, such as Erste Group’s spinout of the innovation team that brought us George or the acceleration program of RBI, that were very successful as the hierarchies within the company were temporarily replaced by five workstreams. There are some UK examples as well.”

But what does he see as the biggest challenges for key players?

“We are seeing more confident, younger and highly skilled people and the wish to have work –life balance as well as a good salary, career path and benefits such as a “campus” feel. So, when it comes to hiring data scientists, data privacy specialists, machine learning artificial intelligence and block chain /iota specialists, we see challenges for many banks to meet these needs.”

Flex time has limitations

On the other side of the table, the view is more optimistic.  Dmitri Kraynov is Managing Director, Model Risk Management at the head office of Sberbank, which accounts for one-third of Russia’s banking system and has annual growth of 20%.

“We are actively hiring Generations X and Z and see differences in their motivation,” he says. “Most of them have hobbies and they ask for life/work balance. But at the same time, the current stack of tasks demands that they be involved on an everyday basis and often with long hours.

“This is a challenging point.  So, to give the flex time, our offices are open 24/7 but because of banking specificity we must provide restricted flexible hours.   For example, you might have to be present between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., other hours you can choose.”

Dmitry also noted that strict rules are no longer in place in the future of banking and even the traditional banking dress code was eliminated in 2017.  The trend is to be more IT-like.  Mentoring/coaching is extremely important, and a good leader is a coach first. The formal promotion ladder of expert, then team leader, then head is still a strong pattern.

This creates problems if people leave for a leadership /manager position because of the title, even when offered less compensation and scope.  Some banks introduce alternative solutions such as a position of “super expert” with a compensation package equal to that of your superior if you create extra added value to the team and bank.

Sberbank competes with Fintechs and IT companies for managers but the Russian market is strong for expert level recruits in hard skills such as math, stats and programming.  Some positions such as credit underwriting are being eliminated but candidates with such backgrounds can be offered training to become junior data scientists.

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