Changing employee demographics in the banking sector

Nordic banks had a total of 120,000 employees at year-end. This is more or less the same number as ten years ago. Finland and Norway have slightly more employees, while in Denmark and Sweden their number has decreased.

​Women still comprise the employee majority in Finnish banks, although their proportion has changed from 80% to 72%. The other Nordic countries have much more equal gender ratios.

The sector and its workforce’s efficiency can be assessed by comparing how many bank employees per capita are needed to manage and maintain the financial system and consumer service structures. By this measure, Sweden has the most efficient employees. Denmark, on the other hand, has nearly twice as many banking employees as Sweden. In Finland, there are five banking sector employees for every 1,000 citizens, which is clearly less than in Denmark, but more than in Norway and Sweden.

There are some country-specific differences in the division of duties. Compared to the other Nordic banking sector employees, Finns more frequently work in customer service, whereas Denmark has more managerial employees. There are some differences in the educational background of employees as well: half of all Norwegian and Swedish bank employees have university degrees; in Finland, their proportion is 44%.

The countries have fairly different age structures. In Norway, nearly 12% of the banking sector employees are aged 60 or older. The average age of Norwegian employees is 46 years, when in the other Nordic countries it is 44 years. Less than 8% of the Finnish banking sector employees are 60 years or older, and the number of people in their forties is also clearly smaller than in the other countries. The Finnish sector has a younger age structure: more than 25% of all banking sector employees are under 35 years old.