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Banks risk losing graduates to technology firms: Deloitte

[LONDON] The world's biggest banks risk losing out to technology companies as lenders fail to attract holders of business degrees in the wake of the financial crisis, according to research from Deloitte.

The popularity of a career in software and computer services has risen by 4.1 percentage points between 2008 and 2015, while banking fell by 4.3 percentage points over the same period, according to a survey of more than 200,000 business students in 30 countries published by the accounting firm on Monday. Based on current trends, software and computer services will overtake banking in popularity by 2022, Deloitte said.

Banks across the globe are fighting to improve public trust and opinion among prospective employees after their reputations took a battering in the financial crisis. They also need graduates with computer skills as they push to fend off financial-technology startups and improve information-technology systems, creaking from years of under-investment at some banks.

The "popularity of banks among business students has been in decline since 2011," said Neil Tomlinson, Deloitte's UK head of banking. "With innovative talent more attracted to other industries such as software and computer services, it may challenge the banks' ability to respond to threats from non-bank challengers such as fintechs and tech titans."