Banking drop in popularity students

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Banking suffers a further big drop in popularity among Swiss business students

Zurich, 18 November 2014

For the third time in four years, banks came second to fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) firms as the most popular career choice for Swiss business students – but suffered a sharp decline in popularity –, according to the new report “Talent in Banking 2014” by Deloitte.

Banks looking to snap up the best and brightest students need to revamp their employer brand if they are to win the war for talent, finds a new report from Deloitte, the business advisory firm.

Sarah Kane, Partner at Deloitte in Switzerland and Human Capital expert, said: “Banks need students with information technology skills to meet both regulatory demands and consumer preferences for online and mobile banking. However, over one-third of students do not think banks are particularly innovative or dynamic, so perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that banks have lost ground compared to the FMCG and Fashion sectors. The challenge for banks will be to show potential recruits the variety of creative digital roles available. This will require a step-change in terms of how a bank promotes its brand in the graduate market.”

The survey shows that the fashion, accessories and luxury goods sector, which includes the watch industry, is substantially gaining in popularity – rising to the third place in Switzerland –, as banking is declining,. 

Talent in Banking - Switzerland in Focus

Industry popularity among Swiss business students, 2008-2014

However, while the banking sector may be some way off its high point, in a country that is almost synonymous with banking, it is still a very popular option amongst Swiss business students. Two of the big Swiss banks are among their top four “ideal employers”.

Banks will need to overhaul their brand amongst graduates because negative industry perceptions prevail amongst some future bankers. On a global scale, nearly three-quarters (74%) do not associate banks with providing flexible working, while over half think banks do not offer secure employment or a friendly place to work. Less than one-third of banking students associate the sector with acceptance towards minorities and only 38% think banks support gender equality. Banking is indeed still heavily male-dominated in Switzerland: about one-third of Swiss banking-inclined students are women; this is one of the lowest ratios in EMEA. Banks are missing out on a large pool of potential talent.

Sarah Kane adds: “The figures paint a stark picture for the banks, but a solution is possible if they listen to students. Swiss banking students want to have a work-life balance; it is their highest career goal. Students considering working for a bank also value professional training and development, above all other traits in an employer, including financial incentives such as performance-related bonus and overtime pay”.

About the survey

The Deloitte Talent in Banking Survey 2014 explores business students’ career intentions in 31 markets around the world. The research is based on a survey conducted by Universum, which polled 700,000 students and professionals from around 2,000 universities and institutions of higher education in 36 markets. Deloitte examined the survey results from 174,000 students in the 31 markets most relevant to banking.

You will find the full results to download here.

About Deloitte in Switzerland

Deloitte is a leading accounting and consulting company in Switzerland and provides industry-specific services in the areas of audit, tax, consulting and corporate finance. With approximately 1,300 employees at six locations in Basel, Berne, Geneva, Lausanne, Lugano and Zurich (headquarters), Deloitte serves companies and institutions of all legal forms and sizes in all industry sectors. Deloitte AG is a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP, the UK member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL). DTTL member firms comprise of approximately 210,000 employees in more than 150 countries around the world.

Note to editors

In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte AG, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP, which is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries are leading business advisers, providing audit, tax, consulting and corporate finance services through more than 12,600 exceptional people across the UK and Switzerland. Known as an employer of choice for innovative human resources programmes, it is dedicated to helping its clients and people excel.

Deloitte AG is an auditor firm recognised and supervised by the Federal Audit Oversight Authority (FAOA) and the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA).

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

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