Banking: 3,400 fewer jobs in 2021 despite dynamic hiring

The French Banking Federation (FBF) recently unveiled employment figures for the banking sector. In 2021, the number of jobs stood at 350,400, down 1% on the previous year despite dynamic recruitment.

The decline of the banking sector in terms of jobs is confirmed

FBF figures show that the number of employees in the banking sector continues to fall, but at a slower pace. In fact, headcount has fallen by 1%, to 350,400 in 2021. By 2020, they had shrunk by almost 2%.

Thus, the banking sector, which accounts for around 1.7% of private salaried employment in France, remains at its lowest level in terms of jobs since 1990. By way of comparison, in 2012, the banking sector employed over 379,000 people.

Dynamic hiring does not offset the rise in departures

While 2021 was marked by the health crisis, French banks hired 40,300 employees, compared with 35,300 in 2020. However, this momentum cannot compensate for the increase in departures, which intensified in 2021. Some 44,500 employees left the sector last year, 4,000 more than the previous year. In total, the banking sector has seen 25,000 jobs disappear since 2012.

The haemorrhage is due to the emergence of new players and regulatory pressure, which are forcing banks to trim their margins. In recent months, several major groups have announced restructuring plans, including Société Générale, Natixis and HSBC France. The economic uncertainty associated with the crisis has also prompted more employees in the sector to resign.

98% of jobs in the banking sector are open-ended contracts

Even if the number of new hires has fallen, working in banking remains a guarantee of stability. In fact, most employees working in this sector have signed permanent contracts. In commercial banks, 65% of new hires were on permanent contracts, a much higher proportion than the national average. Overall, 98% of jobs are permanent.

Work-study students are among the profiles most attracted to banking. In 2021, French banking establishments welcomed 16,400 work-study students, compared with 15,200 in 2020, an increase of 7.8%. As a result, the average age at hiring has fallen from 32.4 to 31.9 in just one year. The FBF adds that 5,800 young people did an internship in the banking sector in 2021, and 1,000 young people were welcomed as part of a Volontariat International à l'Étranger (VIE) program.

"The dynamic hiring and work-study programs, as well as HR innovations that enable us to appeal to a wide variety of audiences, are key factors in the sector's attractiveness ," reads the press release issued on July 27.