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UK leads the way on tech experience in banks

communication technology
(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/violetkaipa)

Board members at banks (opens in new tab) across the UK have more technology experience than anywhere else in the world, a new report from consulting firm Accenture claims.

Based on analysis of the professional backgrounds of circa 2,000 directors in more than 100 of the world’s largest banks, the report states that just over a quarter (26 percent) of all UK bank board members have previous professional technology experience.

That’s almost double the number than five years ago, when the proportion stood at just 14 percent. UK banks have now also overtaken the US to become global leaders in this respect.

Despite growth in the past five years, the report claims that banks globally continue to lack technology expertize at boardroom level.

Accenture’s recommendation is that at least a quarter of a bank’s board of directors should have some technology experience. The UK is the only country in the world that meets these expectations, with the global average being 10 percent (up from six percent five years ago).

When it comes to addressing the gender imbalance, banks are making some progress, with the volume of female board directors with tech experience growing from 19 percent to 33 percent in five years.

Laura O’Sullivan, Managing Director in Accenture’s Banking practice, said: “In the UK, we’re seeing banks take on this expertise at a faster rate due to its leading fintech market. Government is hugely supportive of investment in both fintech and new competition, which has given birth to a number of highly competitive neobanks that the incumbents simply can’t afford to ignore.”

“In many ways, though, the numbers illustrate how much further banks have to go,” O’Sullivan concluded.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.