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Technology skills and creative thinking are critical for future success of financial services

London, 24 March 2022, Data analytics, software development and creative thinking are some of the skills essential for securing the future success of financial services and tackling the ongoing skills gaps according to a report published today by the Financial Services Skills Commission (FSSC).

The ‘Mind the gaps – skills for the future of financial services 2022’, report, outlines five future skills including data analytics & insight, software development and digital literacy coupled with creative thinking and coaching behaviours which are integral to maintaining the sector’s competitive advantage and sustainable growth. The report shows 20% of FSSC members (which collectively employ one third of the overall UK FS sector workforce) do not yet collect data on future skills and calls for financial services firms to begin to implement a forecasting policy to help identify and further invest in future skills requirements over the long term.

The report cites ongoing technological advancement and changing consumer behaviour as the key drivers behind the increasing demands for the five future skills across the FS sector. FSSC data shows 92% of its member firms had hard to fill vacancies in 2021, yet 65% of firms which invest in future skills experience a reduced need to hire for roles externally.

Claire Tunley, Chief Executive Financial Services Skills Commission comments: 

“Closing skills gaps cannot be achieved by recruitment alone. Our report published today highlights five future skills which are vital for our industry to continue to thrive. Alongside tech skills such as data analytics, creative thinking and coaching are critical to deliver what machines and algorithms cannot. The report findings clearly demonstrate the importance of future skills forecasting and investment over the long term. This is essential for financial services firms to source and retain talent, boost productivity and drive innovation.”

Stephen Noakes, Chief Digital Officer, and Transformation Director – Retail, Lloyds Banking Group, and sponsor of the Future Skills Workstream at the FSSC, comments:

“As tech evolves and consumer behaviour changes, it is important more than ever that we continue to adapt and ensure our people have the right skills in the right areas. We are pleased to work together with the FSSC to better understand the skill gaps and the opportunities to address these across the industry. At Lloyds Banking Group, helping our colleagues to build their skills for the future is not simply about helping them to grow and develop – we view it as a commercial necessity.”

The report findings on future skills are the result of an in-depth survey, interviews and workshops with senior executives, human resource officials and workforce planning specialists across the FSSC membership which employs over a third of the UKs financial services workforce. This includes banks, insurers, building societies, asset managers and fintech’s.

The full Report can be accessed here.

24 March 2022