Banks and building societies struggle to recruit professional and clerical staff

Banks and building societies are struggling with a severe shortage of clerical and professional staff, according to research.

A quarterly survey, released today by the CBI and professional services firm PwC, has raised fears that a lack of workers will stifle the sector’s growth.

The study, carried out between 25 May and 7 June, found that increasing numbers of banks and building societies were concerned by the “potentially limiting effect of staff availability”.

“It is notable that the societies are becoming more concerned about the availability of professional and clerical staff,” the report said.

John Hitchins, UK banking leader at PwC, said that shortage of staff did not counteract fears that UK financial services jobs were being moved offshore.

Hitchins said that the jobs sent overseas were back-office roles such as call centre operations, while workers were needed in the UK for face-to-face contact with customers.

“There aren’t huge numbers of jobs disappearing – most UK banks are recruiting at the moment,” he said.

Doug Godden, head of economic analysis at the CBI, said: “The financial services industry has continued to thrive recently but now expects some tougher times in the wake of renewed doubts about the global economy and stock market uncertainty.”

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