What’s the future of work in financial services? At Sibos, I participated on a panel with workforce leaders from Nordea, Westpac and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Every one of them has taken the plunge, moving toward business and workforce transformation.

Skilfully moderated by Greta Thomas of Full Potential Labs, the discussion at Sibos kicked off with me setting the scene that Accenture’s research uncovers (see Banking and Insurance reports):

  • FS organisations believe there’s an opportunity to grow revenues by 32 percent over the next three years through human-machine collaboration
  • This could create new roles and drive in the region of 9 percent headcount growth in FS
  • And the disconnect—only 3 percent of FS organisations are planning to significantly increase the level of spending on reskilling their workforce.

My fellow panellist’s responses to the question: “How much time is spent at the top table talking about the workforce and the changes required?”, were unanimous: It’s a top level discussion, it’s been going on for some time, and it’s being taken very seriously. But it’s a journey—transformation is not simple or easy and the business is learning more every day.

Some key points made in the session:

“There is now a sense of urgency. The reality of change makes learning and reskilling a priority and the demand for new skills, like cybersecurity, becomes immediate.” Sam Turner, head of inclusion and diversity at Westpac.

“Organisational psychology is not fit for purpose. It’s critical to create an environment in which people can believe in the new ways of work, have the courage to participate in agile environments and feel secure enough to continue doing so.” Duena Blomstrom of Emotional Banking.

At Nordea, talent is a key factor of transformation. The company is sourcing non-banking talent from a number of sectors, including fintech. “We need to attract these skills and shield them to allow them to blossom in a new [financial services] context.” Sophia Wikander, head of business innovation at Nordea.

The traits you need to develop as an individual to be successful in the future of work? “It’s not the mindset of accepting the change; it’s the mindset of embracing the change. And be willing to take chances; it may take you to interesting places.” Bill Borden, Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

For more on the future of work, click thought to Accenture’s research and thinking on the issues: The Future Workforce cross-industry report, the Banking and Insurance reports, and Enterprise Agility in Financial Services.

To learn more about my fellow panel members, do look them up on social media: William Borden of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Sophia Wikander of Nordea (@SophiaWikander), Samantha Turner of Westpac (@sammy_l_t), Duena Blomstrom of Emotional Banking (@DuenaBlomstrom) and futurist Katie King (@missmetaverse).

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