By Simon Prescott, Head of Islands Corporate Banking Lloyds TSB

Training colleagues to deliver better results

The Retail Distribution Review (RDR) represents a major change for the financial services industry. Initiated by the Financial Services Authority in the UK, it has been designed to help consumers achieve a fair deal in the products that they buy and in the advice that they take. As is often the case in terms of the UK's legislation and guidelines, Jersey will follow suit to ensure best practice and to further enhance Jersey's standing as a stable and well-regulated international finance centre.

Financial advisers in retail banking have been extending their professional qualifications and, on the corporate side, the Offshore Banking Certificate has been very popular. Training is not only necessary and indeed relevant for client-facing teams but also for those in senior and management positions. Many have undertaken or are undertaking the Institute of Directors' Chartered Director qualification.

External qualifications are complemented by in house training. For example, at Lloyds TSB 25,000 retail customers have recently been migrated onto a new banking platform and in order for those customers to benefit from the additional functionality and enhanced service, our teams have been thoroughly trained.

Local talent

Jersey is incredibly lucky to have an experienced, diverse and qualified talent pool. The financial services industry has a commitment to recruiting locally and to upskilling its staff. There will always be a need to temporarily assign colleagues to fulfil specialist roles, but the focus is still on training local individuals to assume those roles in the longer-term.

The financial services industry also invests in the future workforce by committing to student work placement schemes. A significant proportion of new employees are school leavers and graduates who have had their first taste of the industry through work experience.

Looking to the future

The only constant is that things will continue to change. Budgets continue to go under the microscope but it is vital that training remains a priority. Ensuring that staff have the professional capabilities to meet the diverse needs of clients is a crucial investment.

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