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Gulf Banks Face Skills Shortage According to Accenture Survey

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Wed Nov 30 2011

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(From Business Wire) -- Demand for skilled banking staff is outstripping supply in the Gulf region at a time when the Western banking industry is drastically cutting its workforce, according to an Accenture survey of 47 executives at major banks in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Meanwhile, the region’s banks are in a race to adapt to more demanding customers and are increasingly targeting the largely untapped youth, women and small- and medium-sized business markets.

According to the survey, a shortage of skills is the biggest challenge facing the GCC banking industry, aside from new regulation, especially as more global banks enter the market. A skills shortage was cited by 58 percent of all executives surveyed and 69 percent of those from the largest banks. In fact, nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of respondents agreed that the biggest impact of more global banks operating in the region will be the increased competition for skills and talent over the next few years. A majority (89 percent) of respondents said that attracting and retaining talent will be the most important strategy their banks will use to increase shareholder value.

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