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The French banking sector maintained its momentum in hiring skilled workers on permanent contracts and work-study programmes during the health crisis

In the context of a health crisis that affected 2020, the French banking sector demonstrated its soundness. Indeed, it continued to be a dynamic actor on the job market with more than 35,300 people hired by French banks in 2020. At the end of 2020, the member banks of the Fédération Bancaire Française (FBF) employed 354,0001 staff (of which 186,800 for the AFB branch), which equates to 1.8% of private sector employment in France and a stable proportion compared to 2019. It maintained a high level of commitment to job placement, with 15,200 participants on work-study programmes2, including 8,400 for the AFB branch.

A resilient employer during the health crisis

In an unprecedented economic and health crisis, the member banks of the AFB3 continued to be top-tier employers, with 186,800 workers on payroll.

The banks of the AFT carried on with hiring (16,000 recruitments in 2020, of which 10,700 on permanent contract) even as the volume of departures decreased considerably (14,400 departures of permanent contract employees versus 16,700 in 2019). The churn rate (for permanent contracts) came in at 6.6% versus 8.1% in 2019. For purposes of comparison, the national average is 20.2%.

More managers, gender equality, increased hiring and new expertise sought

The 2020 figures confirm the structural changes in employee profiles: one finds 68% managers (+13 points since 2012), of whom 49% are women (+4.4 points since 2012).

Furthermore, the types of individuals hired are increasingly skilled, as more than 58% of permanent contract recruitments have 4 to 5 years of university, with a real emphasis on gender diversity (women make up 51% of hires)

The majority of recruitments cover commercial functions and customer relationsIT skills are also still highly sought out (more than 14% of new permanent hirings), ahead of control and risks (9.4%) and back office (4.9%) which was down slightly. These trends illustrate the banking sector’s focus on developing expertise that directly impacts customers on investing in new technology and in maintaining sound fundamentals.

Training and job placement

The French banking sector is committed to supporting its employees through the transformations under way in their professions, thanks in large part to training. Overall, 4.7% of payroll expenses and 5 million hours are devoted to training to plan for the skills of the future, help employees master them and meet the needs for adaptation in the banking sector and changes in customer expectations. Therefore, employees in customer relations positions receive 36 hours of training per year.

In addition to training, the French banking sector is also committed to improving job placement. French banks4 have more than 15,200 work-study participants, including 8,400 at AFB banks, which signed 6,000 new work-study contracts. That enables many young people to pursue professional development within a company alongside their university studies. Furthermore, the banking sector, through a variety of partnerships with associations, plays a part in job placement for young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods, persons with poor employment prospects and highly skilled refugees.

A dynamic, highquality social dialogue

In the context of the 2020 health crisis, the AFB and union organisations moved forward with the social compact. An ambitious meeting calendar was implemented which enabled collective engagement throughout the entire health crisis, as evidenced, for example, by the joint declaration on « preventive measures in the banking profession ». Around 100 joint meetings took place, covering all labour-related topics. In addition, as a logical extension of previous work carried out, 2020 was marked by the signature of two structuring branch agreements on professional training and on employment and skills management planning.

For Maya Atig, Managing Director of the AFB: « In light of the health crisis we’ve all been experiencing since March 2020, the men and women who work at the bank were 100% mobilised. The French banking sector is dynamic, with active and appealing employers, who have 354,000 employees, including 186,800 for AFB banks. In the health crisis we are experiencing, these 2020 figures confirm that the French banking sector is responsible and stands as a source of skilled and sustainable jobs, thanks especially to its commitment to provide training to work through the transformation of our business lines. »

In 2020, jobs in the banks of the AFB branch were reliable and very highly skilled:

  • 99% permanent contracts and 68% managers;
  • 16,000 persons hired in 2020, of which 10,700 on permanent contract;
  • Nearly 7 of 10 hirings on permanent contract and 1 of 2 recruits under age 30;
  • Employees with 4 or 5 years of university made up nearly 60% of permanent hirings;
  • More than 1 in 2 permanent hirings (52%) were in customer relations, followed by IT (14.4%), control and risk (9.4%) and back office (4.9%).

1 Rounded figure (186,800 AFB and 167,000 mutual banks)

2 Active contract at 31/12/2020

3 A professional organisation that represents 171 entities, most of which are commercial banks. It represents them in labour matters (collective banking agreement signed in January 2000) and handles negotiations with union organisations (collective agreements, salaries, employment, professional training, etc.).

4 FBF scope

Le secteur bancaire français assure une dynamique continue de recrutements qualifiés en CDI et en alternance dans un contexte de crise sanitaire

AFB Press release – The French banking sector maintained its momentum in hiring skilled workers on permanent contracts and work study programmes during the health crisis

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Key figures and trends in banking employment in 2020

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