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ING Study “Future Banking Skills”: Expectations for Corporate Banking of the Future

FMF member ING recently conducted an online survey together with F.A.Z. BUSINESS MEDIA | research and FINANCE. In this article you will find all the results of the study.

  • Banks must become more customer-oriented, agile and digital in the corporate banking business
  • In the fight for young talent and qualified lateral entrants, many banks need a change in recruiting and culture
  • 56 percent of bankers in corporate banking see a need for further training on topics such as ESG
  • Almost 90 percent of corporate decision-makers expect customised solutions and in-depth industry and company knowledge from banks

Acute shortage of skilled workers, increasingly complex business areas and stricter regulations in the area of sustainability will be the greatest challenges for the banking sector in the future – this is the conclusion of the study “Future Banking Skills” by ING Deutschland. The online survey of 193 decision-makers from companies and 157 bankers from the corporate banking sector, recently conducted by F.A.Z. BUSINESS MEDIA | research, FINANCE and ING, revealed that the skills of traditional bank training are no longer adequate for the increasingly demanding fields of activity, such as wholesale banking: Here, the future lies in customer-oriented, digital advice with customised solutions. The industry also needs to catch up on topics such as ESG or blockchain.

Traditional training and basic knowledge such as financial analyses or capital market structures “only” play a subordinate role in the skills of the corporate client bankers of tomorrow. Among them, around 56 percent see the greatest need for further training in topics such as ESG (environment, social, governance), for example in green financing, know-how on sustainability or regulatory issues. In the areas of artificial intelligence, data analytics, coding or blockchain, more experienced skills will also be in demand in the future. At the same time, the shortage of skilled workers at the banks, where 65,000 positions – one in nine – remained unfilled in 2022, requires modern recruiting measures to attract lateral entrants such as mathematicians or physicists to the industry. According to the study, just 23 per cent of the banks are trying to attract such target groups.

Banks must become more attractive for young talent

In the fight for talent, banks are challenged more than ever. With more flexible working time models, work-life balance and flat hierarchies, it is important to make one’s own brand and corporate culture attractive for younger generations (Gen Z). This is also becoming more urgent with regard to the retirement of the baby boomer generation (about 1.6 to 4.8 million by 2038) in order to remain able to act. For 63 percent, this ability of banks to adapt is also playing an increasingly important role in the corporate customer sector. Competitors such as neo-banks or FinTechs have long been pushing their way into the lucrative business field, usually acting more digitally and flexibly. Eddy Henning, Member of the Management Board of ING Germany and responsible for corporate banking, adds: “In corporate banking, we see a lot of competition for talent. A table football and a free fruit basket have not been enough for a long time. On the other hand, a corporate culture that puts employees at the centre and demonstrates this through appropriate measures such as flat hierarchies, an open feedback culture and self-determined work will win over talent.”

Industry knowledge and continuity

For the majority of respondents from the companies, standardised advice has had its day: they demand a deep understanding of their goals as well as client-oriented action from financial services. Eight out of ten also expect special industry knowledge and advisory services and solutions individually adapted to the respective business field. 89 percent assume detailed knowledge about the company itself. With regard to the corresponding banking processes, 62 percent of the respondents attach importance to the fact that these are managed digitally and by a clearly defined and recurring contact person. After all, every second respondent has already recognised the importance of industry knowledge.

This study is based on two online surveys that aimed to identify the skills needed in corporate banking in the future. First, 193 corporate decision-makers were asked about their expectations of corporate bankers. Secondly, 157 corporate client bankers provide information on what the future skills will be. In addition, three personal interviews offer a contextual classification and deepening of the results.

Future Banking Skills

Corporate banking is facing major changes. Companies expect advice that is tailored to their needs. Which skills and competencies will be relevant in the future? The current ING Study 2023 provides answers to these and other questions. You can download a detailed version (German) here.

Source: Press Release by ING as of 4 July 2023
Image: Unsplash

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