Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the banking industry’s traditional business model was already under significant strain, facing real challenges brought on by the rise of internet & open banking.

With consumer demand shifting from the local branches and cashier desks of yesterday to the secure smartphone apps and innovative online products that we expect today - it seems obvious now that a reflection of this shift in training banking staff was inevitable.

In a post-coronavirus world, those challenges are just as prevalent, if not heightened. With customer’s reliance on online banking products being higher than ever, it seems evident that the global social distancing measures driving this demand would also fuel how banks approach staff training.

Why training within the financial sector has had to change

Though the retail banking sector has seen unprecedented change in recent years, statistics from the London Institute of Banking & Finance - reveal that bank or building society branch closures between 1986 and 2014, saw a 51% decline.

So if industry change has been a thirty-year battle, what recent factors are forcing banks to change the way they train?

In 2018, a ruling from the Competition & Markets Authority came into force, a directive which promoted the development and use of innovative online payments.

This legislation enabled fintech firms and challenger banks to bring new services to market, offering more variety and better value than high street banks could provide.

As a consequence, the majority of the services offered on the high street are increasingly considered as redundant, meaning banks have had to adapt and adopt the same technology to compete.

This has meant job losses and branch closures across the country, as the need for cashiers or tellers has become increasingly unnecessary.

A fact backed up by statistics of employment within the banking sector falling by approximately 100,000, between 2001 and 2018.

That said, the industry is by no means a lost cause. Recent projections made in the Mckinsey quarterly suggest that whilst the number of roles have decreased, a skills gap has grown in their absence.

Because the financial sector is at the forefront of digital adoption, the demand for a more skilled workforce is likely to increase dramatically over the next decade.

As automation is more regularly adopted, the need for a workforce that uses basic numeracy and literacy for data input and processing is likely to decline.

Instead, training existing staff to become technology experts, whilst onboarding new professional talent will increase. Additionally, roles that require customer interaction - whether in person or online - will drive the demand for keen social and emotional skills.

Whilst there may be fewer roles in banking than there once were, there is far more diversity in the opportunities that are available - opening up opportunities for banking firms to develop their workforce with quality training.

How digital learning is transforming training within the banking industry

Meeting the demands that rigorous staff training dictates, as well as clearing the hurdles presented by social distancing measures, has posed a significant problem for employers over the last nine or so months.

Alternatives to traditional learning environments have been essential for continued professional development, which is where virtual learning programmes have come to the fore.

This study by Forbes presented findings that employees gained the same amount of learning in 40-60% of the time spent in a physical classroom, whilst virtual training could also boost employee engagement in the workplace by 18%.

Whether your business has existing employees, new hires or graduates that need upskilling - the advantages of experiential learning are threefold. Interactive learning online presents a unique solution to training during the global pandemic; facilitating an inherently safe social distance, mastering your product offering to improve commercial awareness, whilst honing critical ‘soft skills’ from a digital perspective.

Experiential virtual training from MDA uses a combination of videos, live conferencing and frequent communication.

Not only provides the learner with one to one training from industry experts, but it also exposes them to the necessary experience needed to offer customer-centric online banking - an industry focus set to become the industry standard.

Trusted by industry leaders such as Deutsche Bank, Lloyds Banking Group, and Royal Bank of Scotland - MDAs comprehensive banking operations training focuses on the following four areas:

  • Technology, Infrastructure and Operations
  • Private Banking
  • Investment Banking
  • Corporate and Commercial Banking

Each training programme utilises a combination of experiential learning methods, such as virtual theatre workshops, banking simulations and live, facilitator-led discussions.

Learning is then bolstered through hosting online discussion, interactive PDFs and toolkits - providing an extensive learning experience to drive change in the workplace.

For more information about our virtual products training programmes for the banking sector, contact MDA training today!