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Banks in a ‘war’ for tech talent

A major bank executive has revealed how the group is competing with tech giants like Google for top talent.

Speaking on a panel at the ASIC Annual Forum on 19 March, ANZ chief data officer Emma Gray outlined that one of the key challenges for the bank is attracting the right talent needed to mine data and build “nimble, flexible digital platforms”.

“The culture of a successful organisation is one where we have that ability to think about customers first and products second, where we have that ability to interrogate the data to understand patterns and the things we can do to help our customers,” Ms Gray said. “What stands in the way of that are some of the threats.

“We are in a war for talent. I’m trying to hire data scientists and data engineers. If I was a data scientist or an engineer, a bank versus Google, which one do I choose? So we are in a real war for talent to try and get the fantastic people into the business that we need to develop some of this infrastructure.”

Ms Gray said that in a technology-driven world where customers increasingly use their phones to do their banking, rather than using traditional branches, banks are under increasing pressure to reshape their models.

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"The attributes of a really successful bank, as much as there is that construct in 10 years’ time, is really nimble, flexible, digital platforms and real customer obsession,” she said.

“It really means rethinking what a product is. Today we think about home loans, we think about credit cards. If I’m a customer, I’m really just thinking about what is a financial mechanism that I can use given my needs. Being able to translate the way we think about products today into the future is a really important capability.”

Banks in a ‘war’ for tech talent
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