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What are the challenges that the finance sector is facing in the UK?

Published 7th Jul 2022

As discussed in our previous blog, there are a number of challenges that the UK finance sector is currently facing. From uncertainty with the overall UK economy to the rising cost of living and a global talent shortage, there are a variety of factors contributing to the challenges that organisations in the finance sector are currently faced with.

However, the challenges that business leaders and hiring managers need to be aware of can be quite broad and cover a wide range of topics.

Let’s dig a little deeper.

Outdated technology in the UK finance sector

To begin with, one of the most discussed and crucial topics being discussed in the industry is the outdated technology across the board. Following the pandemic when financial organisations had to adjust to the sudden digital transformation due to the lack of in-person contact, customers are now expecting businesses to continue with and expand on their digital products and services.

For example, renewing insurance policies, applying for mortgages and taking out loans are now widely accessed online, yet some businesses are still asking their customers to jump through hoops to sign physical documents or provide in-person identification in order to have documentation approved. 

With new buying habits becoming increasingly in-demand from consumers, financial organisations will be required to update their risk management software and processes in order to meet consumer expectations. AI, analytics and a wide range of digital tools are now readily available for businesses to onboard and adapt to, providing them with real-time data and increasing the efficiency of risk management by streamlining day-to-day workflows.

Cybersecurity in the UK finance sector

In addition to technology being a challenge, there are also non-financial factors to be considered. Cybersecurity is a prime example of a non-financial yet entirely viable risk for financial services, with 135 UK financial companies experiencing a ransomware incident in 2021 alone. 

With that being said, this may only be a fraction of the true number of ransomware attacks, as these businesses have only been publicly identified due to media reports, ransomware blogs and leak sites. With cybersecurity being an ongoing threat to the finance sector, organisations need to plan ahead and hire the necessary employees to manage such risks.

How Brexit is impacting the UK finance sector

The vast majority of financial organisations were relieved that a trade deal between the UK and the EU was finally reached, although the specifics around how this will impact the finance sector still remains largely uncertain, which is an additional challenge for the industry.  

There are various decisions yet to be made on how organisations in the UK will operate long-term within the EU. The existing Brexit trade deal is vague in terms of an EU-wide arrangement for financial services, which leaves UK firms in the position of having to communicate and negotiate with every deal they make, combining a variety of EU nations’ regulations. The process is time-consuming and risky for all those involved.

Financial services organisations need to be able to identify the impact of decisions being made by governing bodies on various facets of their business. For example, trade partnerships, supply chains and how they sell or work with EU-based consumers must all be taken into consideration.

How can businesses overcome these challenges?

Your first port of call is to be honest with all of your existing employees, clients and customers about where you stand and what you are able to do for them, without inciting panic if there are any concerns behind the scenes. Map out exactly what your organisation looks like right now, what your strategy looks like going forward, and how you plan on getting to where you want to be.

Planning ahead is key. If you know what your specific business strategy and goals are, you will then be able to start from the beginning and consider how all aspects of your organisation need to adapt, grow and develop in order to get your business to where it needs to be.

Ensure that you are training and upskilling your existing employees. Do an audit of employee skills and find out who needs to be trained on what – remember, technological skills are vital in all areas of business now, and if this means investing in weekly or monthly training for all staff, the long-term gain will be worth it.

How can new talent help?

When you consider the challenges mentioned above, there are various reasons why new talent may be the only way to breathe life back into your organisation. If training and upskilling existing employees isn’t enough, you also need to audit each individual department within your organisation to see where there are gaps that need to be filled.

Are you in need of an in-house training team, or a brand new tech team to onboard and update all your financial software? Do you need developers in-house to make financial processes quicker and easier to access? Are you in need of cybersecurity experts to be in charge of risk management?

Whatever it might be, one of the biggest challenges in the UK finance sector that cannot be avoided at the moment is the global talent shortage, which is why you should always consider working with a specialist talent provider to help you find the perfect people to fill your roles.

Get in touch

We work with some well-known names in the UK finance sector who are currently on the lookout for talented and experienced individuals to join their teams. 

Contact our dedicated finance recruitment team who can tell you more about the latest opportunities available that fit your skills, experience and career aspirations on 0161 828 8726 or email enquiries@mccarthyrecruitment.com.

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