Banking sector change is good for the customer

IT’S fair to say that the banking sector has experienced momentous change over the past couple of years, writes Mark Wilson.

A new type of bank has emerged as the industry has changed. Picture: TSPL
A new type of bank has emerged as the industry has changed. Picture: TSPL

Yet during the greater scrutiny, tighter controls, regulation, reorganisations and softening of marketing strategy that the major banks are navigating, a new breed of bank has emerged. These so called ‘challenger’ banks are transforming a sector that needed a boost – and everyone stands to benefit.

The challengers must operate within the same regulatory environment as the big banks, so they cannot differentiate their core services in this way.

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However the revolution is being achieved by their reinvention of banking service delivery. They are constructing a new package built on quality, service and trust – and that all depends on their people.

These people are the children of the banking collapse. Ironically, they are the ones bringing back what some term “old fashioned banking” putting customer experience at the heart of banking again.

The new banks are smaller organisations, and those working in this new specialism have greater exposure to multiple banking disciplines, as well as wider banking marketing and business development functions – and it is this that will create a new banking culture.

From a career standpoint, a broader perspective makes them even more employable than their predecessors, and already the new model bankers – Generation Ex – are moving on – taking their skills to other challenger banks and also to the once hallowed halls of the sector giants.

The new breed of banks tend to be based outside London, and Edinburgh has now established itself as the go-to market for organisations seeking this new breed of talent.

We are experiencing a “war for talent” that can only raise the standard of the industry in the future. In turn, this is great news for us all, as customers.

While there will still be a lot of settlement in the market before we reach a new “normal”, a fresh market has arisen from the ashes of the sector’s reputation, and Scotland, particularly Edinburgh, is leading the way in making it a reality.

• Mark Wilson is Head of Global Accountancy and Finance at Change Recruitment Group