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18 april 2014

Banks remain a leading private employer

For the first time in many years, the workforce declined 1.1% in 2012 in French banks, primarily due to the contraction in hirings. More than 370,000 people work in French banks.


More than 21,000 hirings despite an unfavourable environment

  • French banks are confronted with a general slowdown in the economy and an accumulation of international, European and national regulatory changes, within tight timeframes. Their economic model is being adapted, which necessitates the restructuring of some activities, notably in corporate and investment banking. Discussions are also under way in order to define the place of physical branch networks in a banking landscape increasingly accessible through numerous channels, when currently nearly 70% of employees work in retail banking.

  • Banks are also subject to a specific tax which has a direct negative effect on employment: the wage tax (EUR 1.8 billion in 2012). However, they remain one of the leading private employers in France, after the retail sector, construction activities, transport and the catering business. The banking sector is also among the principal private recruiters in France. More than 21,000 people were hired in 2012, after 30,000 in 2011.

  • The proportion of permanent contracts among total contracts exceeds 99%, and 66% of hirings were on a permanent contract basis in 2012 vs. less than 20% on average in France, all sectors combined (DARES Analyses, January 2014). The proportion of managers is also much higher in the banking sector than the average for other sectors.

  • Young people (less than 30 years old) accounted for nearly two-thirds of hirings and half of managers recruited, proportions that were sharply higher than in 2011. Banks continued to welcome 10,000 young people on work/study courses or international internship programmes (VIE), as well as numerous trainees.

  • Women are playing an increasing role: they accounted for 58% of people recruited, and 43.5% of managers recruited. In 2012, 44.6% of managers in banks were women. This policy of professional mix, carried out for more than 10 years, makes the banking profession one of the leading professions in terms of the implementation of professional equality between men and women.

  • Banks also ensure that they invest in professional training. They dedicate nearly 4% of their wage bill to this training, which represents on average EUR 2,000 per year and per employee, vs. an average of EUR 800 all sectors combined. They therefore enable their employees to develop their skills and evolve within their company. Banking remains a sector that is very conducive to individual development. Nearly two out of three employees benefit from at least one training course per year.

A trend that continued in 2013

In terms of employment, 2013 is expected to end with results similar to 2012, with an erosion in the workforce of around 1.5% to 2%. In terms of flows, incoming or outgoing, it is still somewhat early to interpret this decline be it due to a decline in hirings or an increase in departures.

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