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Banking and General Financial Services

Overview

This page provides information and data on the Banking and General Financial Services sector, which is one component of the Financial Services industry, and includes banking services, financial intermediary services and workers in a diverse range of financial roles.

The Banking and General Financial Services sector is integral to the whole Australian economy, covering services such as general banking, home and business loans and a range of financial products.

Vocational education and training qualifications most often lead to frontline services roles such as bank workers and tellers.

Nationally recognised training for Banking and General Financial Services is delivered under the FNS – Financial Services Training Package.

Information sourced from the most recently available Skills Forecast, the Financial Services IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast.

For information on other financial services, see the Financial Services cluster page.

For information on business-related services, see the Business Services cluster page.

All data sources are available at the end of the page.

IRC and skills forecasts

The Financial Services IRC was not required to submit an annual update to their 2019 Skills Forecast during 2020. As such, the version published in 2019 remains the most recently published Skills Forecast for this industry.

Banking and general financial services IRC’s

Employment trends

Please note: any employment projections outlined below were calculated by the Australian Bureau of Statistics prior to COVID-19.

Employment snapshot

Workers in the Banking and General Financial Services sector are involved in a range of industries; presented here are those most core to the sector. The Finance industry reported variable levels of employment between 2000 and 2020, peaking in 2013 at 222,000. In 2020, there were 196,600 workers in the industry, which is projected to decrease to 192,400 by 2024. The largest VET-related proportion of the Finance industry is the occupation of Bank Workers (24%). This occupation has a projected employment decline of 6% between 2019 and 2024. The other VET-related finance occupations have positive projected employment growth to 2024.

The Auxiliary Finance and Investment Services industry has also shown a record of variable employment. In 2020, employment was at its highest level in the time period shown, with 147,500 workers, which is projected to increase to 148,400 by 2024. Financial Investment Advisers and Managers represent the largest proportion of VET-related occupations in the Auxiliary Finance and Investment Services industry at 17%, followed by Financial Brokers with 15%. All identified occupations in the Auxiliary Finance and Investment Services industry have positive projected employment growth to 2024. Financial Investment Advisers and Managers has a projected employment increase of 7% between 2019 and 2024, Financial Brokers are projected to increase by 9% and Finance Managers by 9%.

Training trends

Training snapshot

Program enrolments in Banking and General Financial Services-related qualifications have fallen between 2016 and 2019. Enrolments peaked at approximately 17,150 in 2016 and there were around 10,690 in 2019. Program completions were fairly stable between 2015 and 2017 but have fallen in 2018 and 2019. Completions peaked at approximately 7,980 in 2017 and there were around 6,110 in 2019. The largest number of program enrolments in 2019 was at the certificate I level, followed by the certificate III and certificate IV levels. The majority of enrolments in 2019 were in the area of financial services and practice support. Most students in this sector had the intended occupation of Financial and Insurance Clerks.

In 2019, Banking and General Financial Services-related qualifications were delivered by a range of training providers. The largest proportion was delivered by private training providers at 66%, with TAFE institutes delivering 17% and enterprise training providers 15%. The majority of Banking and General Financial Services-related subjects were funded through domestic fee for service (74%), though the funding proportions varied largely between provider types. New South Wales and Queensland had the highest proportion of students enrolled in Banking and General Financial Services-related qualifications at 28% and 26% respectively.

More than two fifths of all training was delivered in New South Wales (42%), followed by Queensland with 38%.

Apprentice and trainee commencements and completions in the Banking and General Financial Services sector fell overall between 2010 and 2019, with a small rise in 2013 and 2014 respectively. Most apprentices and trainees had the intended occupation of Financial and Insurance Clerks. In 2019, Queensland reported the largest proportion of Banking and General Financial Services apprentices and trainees, with 34%, followed by New South Wales with 31%, and Victoria with 18%.

For more data specific to your occupation, industry or training package, visit NCVER’s VET students by industry. If you are prompted to log in, select cancel and you will continue to be directed to the program.

For more data specific to your region visit NCVER’s Atlas of Total VET.

If you are interested in extracting NCVER data to construct tables with data relevant to you, sign up for a VOCSTATS account.

Industry insights

Industry insights on skills needs

The Financial Services IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast suggests the top priority skills for the Banking and General Financial Services sector include health and safety skills, teamwork and communication, and problem solving skills. This is in addition to sector specific technical and multi-disciplinary skills. The top three generic skills focus primarily on soft skills including customer service, critical thinking, and learning agility. Data analysis is rated as the fourth most important generic skill for the sector.

According to the job vacancy data, the top generic skills requested by employers were communication skills and building effective relationships. The most advertised occupations were Information Officers followed by Accountants. The top employers were Westpac Banking Corporation and Commonwealth Bank of Australia. The top locations for job advertisements were New South Wales and Victoria.

According to the above Skills Forecast, as with many sectors across the economy, emerging technologies are significant in shaping the future of the Banking and General Financial Services sector. FinTech innovations are changing the services provided by the sector, as well as leading to the automation of many process-oriented roles and enabling more financial services in the gig and shared economies.

Many technological advancements in the Banking and General Financial Services sector are aimed at giving the consumer more knowledge and control of transactions and services, and the ability to conduct services for themselves. These technologies include:

  • Internet and mobile banking, allowing customers to manage their funds without going to a branch, with the majority of Australians now making a purchase or banking transaction on their mobile.
  • Peer-to-peer lending, as a method of debt financing that enables individuals to borrow and lend money without an official institution.

According to the Skills Forecast, workers in the Banking and General Financial Services sector will need the following skills:

  • Core financial multi-disciplinary skills, which are the financial literacy, capacity and industry knowledge skills that underpin all roles in the Financial Services industry.
  • Enterprise skills, such as teamwork, communication, problem solving, and work health and safety skills that are about 'how' a worker operates in the workplace.
  • Flexibility and resilience skills, which will continue to be extremely important for workers adapting to technological change.
  • Communication and other skills where humans generally have a competitive advantage over machines.

In a world where technology is rapidly changing the banking experience, making it more convenient, more mobile and more transparent than ever before, strong, ethical banks remain critical to customer trust and confidence. In June 2019, the Australian Banking Association released the Banking Code of Practice: Setting the Standards of Practice for Banks, Their Staff and Their Representatives which sets a new standard of customer service for Australia's banks. The new Code is part of a significant reform agenda to improve banking services to better meet community standards and expectations.

COVID-19 impact

In July 2020, Westpac announced it is moving 1,000 jobs that are being carried out in India and the Philippines back to Australia after complications in overseas operations led to slow customer service and cost the lender valuable business during the COVID-19 pandemic. Westpac plans to fill some of the roles by re-deploying existing staff, but also plans to hire new workers to fill the positions over the next year as its obligations to overseas providers are worked through. The announcement is a further step in transforming Westpac's business and mortgage operations, helping to support local employment, reducing the risk of offshore disruption, and accelerating its ability to simplify processes through digitisation. The COVID-19 pandemic caused tens of thousands of bank employees to work from home, and these changes in work patterns, and investments in technology, meant it was possible to return the roles to Australia.

The Business Insider article about the Westpac announcement highlights that call centres became the front line of communication between customers and banks during the onset of the pandemic and were inundated with requests for payments holidays. Bank call centres globally flooded with inquiries from concerned customers about deferring payments on mortgages, credit cards and business loans. Call centres also became lifelines for high-risk and quarantined consumers who did not have an option to go into the branches that remained open. This overwhelming volume led to substantial wait times for many consumers.

Westpac's move indicates that call centres will remain paramount to customer service for the foreseeable future. The move also highlights the disconnect in customer service options between what customers want and what banks are offering on their digital platforms. Continued high call centre volume suggests that a significant number of customers are not relying on digital channels for support. And many have indicated they prefer human expertise when it comes to financial dealings, particularly during a time of crisis.

In October 2020, the National Australia Bank (NAB) announced it will recruit 500 additional business banking support roles to cope with the influx of financial assistance requested by customers impacted by the economic downturn. NAB has already added an additional 52 roles to its private banking arm and another 400 roles dedicated to customer support. More than 37,000 NAB business customers have deferred loan repayments, with the bank also supporting 6,235 loans through the federal government small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) guarantee scheme.

Links and resources

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment 2020, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal

  • by ANZSIC 2 & 3 digit Finance Industry and Auxiliary Finance and Investment Services Industry, employment projections to May 2024
  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2024
    • Accountants
    • Bank Workers
    • Credit and Loans Officers
    • Finance Managers
    • Financial Brokers
    • Financial Dealers
    • Financial Investment Advisers and Managers
    • General Clerks
    • Other Hospitality, Retail and Service Managers.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2020, Employed persons by Industry group of main job (ANZSIC), Sex, State and Territory, November 1984 onwards, 6291.0.55.003 - EQ06, viewed 1 August 2020 https://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/6291.0.55.003May%202020?OpenDocument

  • Employed total by ANZSIC 2 & 3 digit Finance Industry and Auxiliary Finance and Investment Services Industry, 2000 to 2020, May Quarter.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, 2016 Census – employment, income and unpaid work, TableBuilder. Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data.

  • Employment level by 2 & 3 digit Finance Industry and Auxiliary Finance and Investment Services Industry, and 4 digit level occupations to identify the relevant VET-related occupations in the industry as a proportion of the total workforce.

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection, Total VET Students and Courses from the following training packages or qualifications:

  • FNS and FNB Financial Services Training Packages
  • Banking Services and Management
    • FNS41010 - Certificate IV in Banking Services
    • FNS41011 - Certificate IV in Banking Services
    • FNS42015 - Certificate IV in Banking Services
    • FNS41211 - Certificate IV in Mobile Banking
    • FNS50910 - Diploma of Banking Services Management
    • FNS50915 - Diploma of Banking Services Management
    • FNS51204 - Diploma of Financial Services (Banking)
    • FNS60610 - Advanced Diploma of Banking Services Management
    • FNS60615 - Advanced Diploma of Banking Services Management
  • Conveyancing
    • FNS50410 - Diploma of Conveyancing
    • FNS50411 - Diploma of Conveyancing
    • FNS50604 - Diploma of Financial Services (Conveyancing)
    • FNS60310 - Advanced Diploma of Conveyancing
    • FNS60311 - Advanced Diploma of Conveyancing
    • FNS60304 - Advanced Diploma of Financial Services (Conveyancing)
  • Credit Management
    • FNS40110 - Certificate IV in Credit Management
    • FNS40111 - Certificate IV in Credit Management
    • FNS40115 - Certificate IV in Credit Management
    • FNS51511 - Diploma of Credit Management
    • FNS51515 - Diploma of Credit Management
  • Financial Services and Practice Support
    • FNS10110 - Certificate I in Financial Services
    • FNS10115 - Certificate I in Financial Services
    • FNS20104 - Certificate II in Financial Services
    • FNS20110 - Certificate II in Financial Services
    • FNS20111 - Certificate II in Financial Services
    • FNS20115 - Certificate II in Financial Services
    • FNS30104 - Certificate III in Financial Services
    • FNS30107 - Certificate III in Financial Services
    • FNS30110 - Certificate III in Financial Services
    • FNS30111 - Certificate III in Financial Services
    • FNS30115 - Certificate III in Financial Services
    • FNS40710 - Certificate IV in Financial Practice Support
    • FNS40715 - Certificate IV in Financial Practice Support
    • FNB40199 - Certificate IV in Financial Services
    • FNS40107 - Certificate IV in Financial Services
    • FNS41811 - Certificate IV in Financial Services
    • FNS41815 - Certificate IV in Financial Services
    • FNB50199 - Diploma of Financial Services
    • FNS50104 - Diploma of Financial Services
    • FNS50107 - Diploma of Financial Services
    • FNS51811 - Diploma of Financial Services
    • FNS51815 - Diploma of Financial Services
    • FNS50417 - Diploma of Payroll Services
    • FNS60104 - Advanced Diploma of Financial Services.

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

Data covers a range of selected student and training characteristics in the following categories and years:

  • 2015 to 2019 program enrolments
  • 2015 to 2019 program completions.

Total VET students and courses data is reported for the calendar year. Program enrolments are the qualifications, courses and skill-sets in which students are enrolled in a given period. For students enrolled in multiple programs, all programs are counted. Program completion indicates that a student has completed a structured and integrated program of education or training. Location data uses student residence. Subject enrolment is registration of a student at a training delivery location for the purpose of undertaking a module, unit of competency or subject. For more information on the terms and definitions, please refer to the Total VET students and courses: terms and definitions document.

Low counts (less than 5) are not reported to protect client confidentiality.

Percentages are rounded to one decimal place. This can lead to situations where the total sum of proportions in a chart may not add up to exactly 100%.

FNS and FNB Financial Services Training Packages apprentice and trainee data has been extracted from the National Apprentice and Trainee Collection, including:

  • 2010 to 2019 commencements
  • 2010 to 2019 completions
  • 2019 apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2019 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.

Priority skills data have been extracted from the Financial Services IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast.

Job vacancy data have been extracted from Burning Glass Technologies 2020, Labor Insight Real-time Labor Market Information Tool, Burning Glass Technologies, Boston, viewed July 2020, https://www.burning-glass.com.

Data shown represent most requested generic skills, occupations and employers according to internet job postings in Australia between July 2017 and June 2020 filtered by ANZSIC and ANZSCO classification levels listed below.

  • Generic skills/Occupations
    • 62 Finance
    • 641 Auxiliary Finance and Investment Services.
  • Employers
    • 5412 Information Officers
    • 2211 Accountants
    • 5521 Bank Workers
    • 2247 Management and Organisation Analysts
    • 1399 Other Specialist Managers
    • 62 Finance
    • 641 Auxiliary Finance and Investment Services.
Updated: 23 Nov 2020
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