Key in Demand Skills in Financial Services Right Now

In this article I discuss the skills that my non-bank lending clients are looking for right now. If you are a financial services professional considering changing roles, read on to discover the transferrable skills you should be highlighting to a prospective employer.

In recent years, there has been enormous growth in the non-bank lending sector of Australia. This expansion is partly due to an extended period of housing price increases, but also consumers looking elsewhere other than mainstream banks for fast loan turnaround times, technology solutions and superior customer experiences. High demand for non-bank lender home loan products has resulted in the growth of teams to deal with credit assessments, operations, and settlements. Large teams were needed to prevent bottlenecks to approve and settle loans quickly.

As economic conditions have changed, so has the demand for non-bank lending home loan products.  Many of the clients I recruit for are telling me now that their volume of home loans is down significantly. This drop in demand is due to several factors, including:

  • Rising interest rates
  • Cost of living pressures
  • A decline in consumer confidence
  • Increase in funding costs

This reduced demand for prime loans has meant that several non-bank lenders have recently restructured teams and pared back the number of credit analyst roles as well as customer service and operations staff. Less loans being settled means less staff are required to process them. Accordingly, a number of financial services staff have been made redundant in these areas in 2022 or they are being retrained, transferred, or seconded to other areas.

Transferrable Skills

We have seen several great examples of these redundant team members taking their financial services skills an applying them to other areas within non-bank lending. I often help candidates determine which of their skills are valued by my clients for prospective alternative roles.

For example, I recently worked with a credit analyst whose transferrable skills were perfectly suited to treasury. Another example is a credit assessor who was placed in an equivalent finance role.

The transferrable skills developed in a financial services role tend to be:

  • Advanced excel skills
  • Ability to read and analyse a financial statement
  • Degree qualified
  • Attention to detail
  • Financial literacy
  • Big picture awareness of the end-to-end lending process
  • Communication and relationship skills

Treasury, finance and product departments continue to see a shortage of talent, and they are needing to think outside the box when it comes to recruiting new staff. I encourage them to look at other similar departments to spot talent and transfer it internally before they go to the trouble of recruiting on the open market.

What’s Coming Next?

I expect demand for collections staff and customer service to increase in the coming months for the financial services sector. These staff will be needed to work with customers as interest rates rise and their home loan repayments increase. I am also expecting to see a wave of demand for refinancing meaning that non-bank lending teams will need to work closely with customers to retain them as part of their prime loan refinancing.

Now is an excellent time to talk to a specialist financial services recruiter. If you are an experienced financial services employee and are looking for a new role, I can help you define your transferrable skills and explain where our clients could best place you.

As many organisations are taking this opportunity to restructure, now is the time to be on the front foot. Whilst roles in finance, treasury, product management and risk will most likely remain stable, this is a good time to read the writing on the wall. If your talents are not being utilised to the best of your ability, consider putting up your hand for a comparable internal role (or give me a call!)

Financial services demand is forever changing, and if you are thinking about what is next for you but need some help navigating the changing market then we can help.

If you are in the market for a new financial service role in 2022, talk to us about career opportunities and current market conditions. For available roles that are either exclusive to Oxygen Recruitment & HR or not yet on the market, then get in touch with our Sydney based team here. We can help you take the next step in your financial services career.