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Do you still want to work in banking?

Earlier this week, António Horta-Osório, chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group, talked about the reputation of the banking industry amongst Graduates, saying “We want the best and the brightest to see banking as a credible career choice. This is vital for the industry’s long-term viability.”  This was in response to a YouGov survey wherein over 25% of respondents suggested that they would be embarrassed to admit that they worked in the sector. 

Certainly there has been an increase in the level of distrust Graduates feel towards the banking industry following the Financial crisis, and subsequently perhaps this career path isn’t seen to be as attractive as it once was.  If we look at surveys from 10 years ago, investment banking / fund management sat strongly at the top of the list of applicants per vacancy – in the latest report from the Association of Graduate Recruiters this has been pipped to the post by the more stable FMCG/Retail sector. During our own piece of Research, the FreshMinds team surveyed a group of top UK students on their aspirations, and, again we found there was a move away from the traditional banking and finance route towards the new, ‘sexier’ Technology businesses.  So perhaps Mr. Horta-Osório is right to worry about the attractiveness of his sector amongst top Graduates.

However, the banking and Financial Services sectors are by no means at crisis point yet.  During the last Graduate Recruitment cycle (2011-12) for each vacancy from an investment bank or fund manager, there were 141 applicants, and 78 for every banking or financial services position, these are both higher than the industry average of 73 applicants per Graduate position. These areas consistently offer the highest starting salaries to Graduates with a typical package sitting between £35-£45,000 per annum, and, whilst this doesn’t necessarily negate any concerns around the industry reputation completely, it certainly goes some way to sweetening the deal.

So, do you still want to work in banking? Take our poll below to have your say.

Would you work in banking?
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