Haha.People make the move across to a start up and within weeks, they're in board shorts, sandals, and 'disrupting', 'curating', and 'gamifying' everything and the kitchen sink.
Banking jobs in the UK have been on a steep decline since the financial crisis in 2008. According to Business Insider British banks alone have cut over 186,000 jobs since 2008. As banks have had to reduce balance sheets to comply with new capital adequacy requirements they have had to shrink operations, close business units and refocus on their core strengths. This inevitably resulted in a reduction in headcount across the board. Furthermore, many banks are still in the process of revamping their business models leaving their staff with uncertainty over their future employment status.
If you are finding yourself in that position or you want to take on new challenges outside of the traditional financial industry but still be able to apply your knowledge and skills, then the fintech sector is most likely the right choice for you. Fintech, which is short for financial technology, refers to an emerging sector that is using new innovative technologies to disrupt the status quo of the traditional financial industry, by offering a better customer experience, lower fees and new ways of conducting financial transactions.
To make the move from banking to fintech you first need to inform yourself about the fintech ecosystem. Within fintech, there is a wide range of sectors where start-ups are looking to disrupt the traditional ways of how financial services have been conducted. Fintech sub-sectors include digital payments, alternative finance, wealth management, credit management, mobile banking, personal finance, blockchain technology, data security, analytics, ‘insurtech’, ‘regtech’ and remittances.
Roles within fintech are not limited to software developers and computer programmers. Hence, if you do not have a background in IT, that will not prevent you from pursuing a new career in fintech. Fintech start-ups are hiring in areas such as business development, sales, marketing, PR, relationship management, product analytics, credit risk analysis, risk management, compliance, legal, accounting and the list goes on.
Fortunately, London is the ‘fintech capital’ of the world and a substantial amount of fintech companies are located here. Well-known fintech start-ups, such as TransferWise, MarketInvoice, LendInvest, Seedrs, CoinBase, Funding Circle, RateSetter, Zopa, Nutmeg and Blockchain call London their home. And most are hiring as they are growing fast. In fact, the tech sector in London is estimated to create 46,000 jobs by 2024 according to the Telegraph.
To make the move from banking to fintech, ideally, you want to target roles that compliment your previous experience in banking and tailor your CV to these roles to increase your chances of securing a job. Having said that, fintech companies like hiring ex-bankers in general as they work hard, possess excellent financial knowledge and retain strong networks with valuable contacts. So, even if your banking career was very specialised and your technical skills don’t seem to be a perfect fit for fintech you still have a good chance of starting a new career at a fintech start-up.
Once you have secured a new job in fintech you will need to adjust to the start-up culture and potentially accept a reduction in salary. However, many start-ups reward their staff with equity so if the business succeeds you will reap the rewards.