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Almost half of finance workers consider new job in wake of COVID

Oscar Williams-Grut
·Senior City Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
·2 mins read
People stand on the upper section of Greenwich Park overlooking the Canary Wharf skyline, as another London park closed yesterday with most parks remaining open with the warning that they will close if people fail to observe the British government guidelines to help stop the spread of coronavirus, Sunday, April 5, 2020. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/Tony Hicks)
People stand on the upper section of Greenwich Park overlooking the Canary Wharf skyline. Photo: AP Photo/Tony Hicks

Almost half of all financial services workers are considering changing jobs, according to a new survey, as the COVID-19 pandemic provokes many people to rethink their lives.

A survey of over 600 financial services professionals carried out by Savanta on behalf of KPMG and the Financial Services Skills Commission found 44% were considering a career change.

Of those, 13% said they were looking to leave the finance industry altogether. 31% of those surveyed said they were planning to job hunt within the next 12 months, despite the dire state of the UK labour market.

“As we spend more time at home away from our colleagues and offices, it makes sense that many will be questioning their current roles and choices — and what the future might hold,” Karim Haji, head of financial services at KPMG UK, said in a statement.

“With so many considering a career change, financial services must take this time to promote itself positively and wipe the slate clean when it comes to the associations people make with it, if it is to be genuinely competitive for talent.”

Reasons cited for wanting to leave the profession include long hours, a long commute, and excessive regulation in the sector.

“The sector has a real opportunity to learn from the experience of the pandemic to create a strengthened employee offering, building on its existing reputation for good pay and progression,” said Claire Tunley, chief executive of the Financial Services Skills Commission. “This will be key to securing talent over the coming months and years.”

Tunley urged finance firms to invest more in training staff, citing survey data showing just 15% of people listed training opportunities as a motivator for remaining in the sector.

“If they want their talent to have the skills they need to deliver the best outcomes for businesses, employers will need to match new digital ways of working with increased investment in training,” she said.

Savanta’s findings for the financial services sector were broadly in line with the wider economy. The market research firm polled over 1,500 people across various industries, finding 46% were considering a new career.

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