Westminster Business Forum

The financial services workforce - tackling the skills gap, improving culture and increasing diversity

Morning, Thursday, 21st May 2020

Central London


This conference will discuss latest thinking on tackling the skills gap affecting financial services, particularly in the context of heightened scrutiny of cultures and diversity in the sector.

The conference will be an opportunity to discuss priorities for the new Government as it takes forward its manifesto pledges aimed at creating greater fairness in the workplace - including proposed measures to encourage flexible working, extended leave for neonatal care, and removing barriers for fathers taking paternity leave.     

It takes place against a backdrop of decline in graduate applications to financial services firms in recent years and with concerns that increasing digitisation of the industry is creating a skills deficit.

It also comes with financial workplace culture and diversity - and the impact on the recruitment and retention of skilled staff - becoming an increasing focus for influencers both inside and outside the industry, and for regulatory reform.

The conference is bringing together senior representatives from the industry, policy and the education system to discuss:

  • Next steps for tackling skills gap within the sector - including what is needed from the introduction of the financial T Level from 2022;
  • Strategies that are being adopted to strengthen workplace cultures, in the context of the introduction of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR); and
  • Latest thinking on competitive advantage gain for firms through improving diversity in their leadership and workforce.

Delegates will also discuss recommendations from the Financial Services Skills Taskforce on securing the pipeline of new talent with skills that the sector needs as it undergoes digital transformation.

The chair of the Financial Services Skills Taskforce, Mark Hoban, Chair, Flood Re, is a keynote speaker at this conference.

Further confirmed speakers include: Vivienne Artz, Women in Banking and Finance and Refinitiv; Susanne Chishti, FINTECH Circle; Simon Culhane, Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment; Dr Gbenga Ibikunle, University of Edinburgh and Johnny Timpson, Scottish Widows and DWP.

The agenda

  • Ensuring financial services has the skills to maintain its position as a world leading financial centre;
  • Implementing the financial services T Level - and supporting business and the education system to produce the workforce of the future;
  • Closing the skills gap - upskilling the existing workforce, adapting to new technologies and securing the pipeline of talent post-Brexit;
  • Building healthy cultures in financial services - an industry perspective;
  • Culture in financial services - improving diversity, workplace health and the image of the sector; and
  • The future for the Women in Finance Charter - and priorities for strengthening the financial services workforce to support the sector maintain its competitiveness.

Keynote Speaker

Mark Hoban

Chair, Financial Services Skills Taskforce and Chair, Flood Re

Keynote Speakers

Mark Hoban

Chair, Financial Services Skills Taskforce and Chair, Flood Re

Joanne Murphy

Chief Operating Officer, Chartered Banker Institute


Dr Gbenga Ibikunle

Senior Lecturer, Financial Markets and Director, MSc Finance, Technology and Policy, University of Edinburgh

Simon Culhane

Chief Executive, Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment

Susanne Chishti

Chief Executive Officer and Founder, FINTECH Circle

Vivienne Artz

President, Women in Banking and Finance and Chief Privacy Officer, Refinitiv

Pauline Hawkes-Bunyan

Director, Business: Risk, Culture & Resilience, The Investment Association

Seema Farazi

Partner and Principal - Global Immigration Financial Services, EY

Johnny Timpson

Technical and Industry Affairs Manager, Scottish Widows and Disability Champion, Insurance, DWP