EY today launches its Global Banking Outlook for 2016, which looks at banking trends across the world for the year ahead, and focuses this year on talent in the sector. In recent years, banks have refocused, redefined and reshaped many aspects of their core business, structures and processes through technological innovation, but their workforce demographic remains relatively unchanged. If banks want to tackle the cultural and technological challenges the industry faces, and in so doing improve financial performance, they need to focus on transforming their people too, not just their products and processes.

Steven Lewis, Global Banking Analyst at EY, comments: “Technology is fundamentally changing how banks operate and engage with their customers, and as their business models adapt and evolve, so too must the makeup of their workforce – but this isn’t happening at any great speed yet. Banks need to foster a culture of entrepreneurialism and technological innovation if they are to prosper in the current environment. This means leaving behind much of the stereotypical banking characteristics to allow for a generation of young, technology-focused professionals to enter the workforce. The banks have woken up to this, but there is still work to be done - currently there are no banks ranked by IT and engineering graduates in the top 25 most attractive companies to work for, and just 2 in the top 50; neither of which are headquartered in the UK.

“A stronger, better banking world will be made up of a collection of the best individuals from diverse backgrounds. Diversity in the workforce is the best way to produce the highest-performing teams, so it is not just the right thing to do, but also commercially shrewd. However, it’s not all about the next quarter’s earnings; it’s about creating a more efficient bank in the long-term, and re-engineering the make-up of the workforce to better reflect the technology-driven world banks now operate in is a good first step to achieving this.”