Financial Services

Article | Rapid change is here: The future of financial services

November 17, 2021


Rapid change is here: The future of financial services

November 17, 2021

Yuxin Lin

Senior Manager, Policy & Insights

Yuxin is a senior manager on the Policy & Insights team. She leads research and analysis projects across a range of sectors including financial services, technology and NGOs. Based in Washington DC, Yuxin specializes in international trade and finance, demographics and workforce, emerging markets, and megatrends.

Prior to joining the Economist Group, Yuxin was vice president at FP Analytics of Foreign Policy, where she consulted with governments, international institutions and companies on trade, energy and social policies and investment strategies.

Yuxin holds an MBA from McDonough School of Business of Georgetown University and a BA in Management from University of International Business and Economics.

Financial services workers may not have been on the front lines of the covid-19 pandemic, but they were still significantly impacted.

While spared the massive waves of layoffs that hit the restaurant, hospitality and entertainment industries, employees in the financial services sector faced stress-related organisational uncertainty, market volatility, social isolation and constricted childcare options. The nature of the sector’s work enabled most organisations to quickly shift to remote working arrangements after lockdowns began. Most financial services companies were able to adapt relatively well, but the rapid change in how workers get their job done inevitably influenced workplace cultures, employer expectations and how organisations think about their operating model and future.

As part of the Recovery, Resilience and the Road Ahead programme sponsored by Prudential, Economist Impact surveyed 1,015 financial services workers and 157 executives in the sector around the US across various functional roles, ranging from finance to operations and production. The survey assessed worker concerns, remote work experiences, as well as organisations’ digital maturity, technology investments, skills and capabilities, and outlooks on the future. One big takeaway: a majority of workers says their relationship with employers has improved during the last year. But that doesn’t mean most workers feel a sense of job security.

Key Findings

  1. Largely positive work cultures and worker-employer relationships are apparent. But disparities in experiences exist.
  2. Digital transformation will continue to reshape organisational priorities and work arrangements in the sector.
  3. Investing in human capital/talent is a top priority of financial services executives. Gaps in employee support are apparent and many workers are not sure their current skill set will be enough for a promotion.

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