Listening to the market: HKIB’s ‘Talent Development Survey’ revealed important viewpoints on the value of training |
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Listening to the market: HKIB’s ‘Talent Development Survey’ revealed important viewpoints on the value of training

Published on Saturday, 17 Sep 2016
Carrie Leung

Amidst a swiftly shifting financial and technological landscape, training is ever more crucial to professional success – with the banking sector no exception.

The Hong Kong Institute of Bankers’ (HKIB) recent “Talent Development Survey” explored how the industry should address talent development and training issues in a changing operating environment.

The survey covered the views of over 500 respondents including bank employees, people from non-bank financial institutions, professionals on the regulators’ side and students. Respondents were split roughly equally between HKIB members and non-members (47 per cent and 53 per cent, respectively).

“As a professional institute dedicated to training and educating banking practitioners, it is vital for us to ensure that our offerings are relevant to industry demands,” says Carrie Leung, chief executive officer of HKIB. “With a different landscape appearing, it is important that we are building these offerings by listening to the market.”


Crucial insight

The survey, which took the form of an online questionnaire conducted between April and June this year, revealed a number of important findings on the role of training in the industry.

Some 88 per cent of respondents recognised the need for training and its role in strengthening market trust in the banking industry. Meanwhile,  77 per cent agreed that a common qualification benchmark would help raise the professional status of banking practitioners.

Among respondents from bank and non-bank financial institutions, 82 per cent expected the sector’s demand for training to grow, and 72 per cent expected external training providers to play a bigger role.

In the context of which business divisions were the most attractive for career development, while every profession in the banking sector was represented, risk and compliance was the most attractive among respondents (34 per cent) with wealth management second (17 per cent).

When selecting training programmes, respondents identified job relevance, career advancement and regulatory requirements as the most commonly considered elements.

The survey also found that more than 75 per cent of bank employees intended on staying in the industry for at least the next five years, largely thanks to good levels of compensation and opportunities for career advancement.

However, while 60 per cent of all survey respondents considered banking as an appealing industry for younger professionals, respondents aged 18 to 34 were comparatively less likely to agree, with only 51 per cent considering it an attractive career choice for young talent.

The survey threw light on some additional training issues that will need to be overcome in the future. For instance, while 67 per cent of respondents had received training in risk and compliance, and 50  per cent in role-specific subjects, only around 20 per cent had received training in fintech and cybersecurity, industry values and ethics, and RMB and China initiatives. These findings suggest that there are opportunities for training development in the near future in areas of growing importance to Hong Kong banks.

Meanwhile, 20 per cent of respondents – mostly banking officers from the retail banking and corporate/commercial sector – believed the training they had received was inadequate.

Finally, two-thirds of respondents believe that talent retention is the most challenging manpower issue within the industry.


Looking to the future

Leung says the results will be used as a reference point when shaping the future of training and development for the banking sector.

She adds that while it is the HKIB’s role to ensure the training and qualifications provided by the institute are attractive to members of all ages, extra emphasis should be placed on younger practitioners.

Leung was also keen to emphasise that the expanded scope of this year’s research was not a one-off. “HKIB will continue to do industry-wide surveys,” she says. “The results provide good insight for the HKIB on tailoring its training, and for each of the banks in Hong Kong as employers of talent.”

She expects the survey results to inspire discussion on industry development and training issues, with the HKIB intending to use data from the survey to assist in the development of its five-year strategic plan.


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