Research shows lack of diversity narrows talent pool and obstructs social mobility

Two in five people working in British banking have parents who also worked in the sector – more than three times the national average for other types of jobs.

Some 41% of financial services employees had parents working in the same sector, against a national average of 12% across other sectors, research by the accountants KPMG showed. In insurance, more than half of staff had followed their parents into the industry.

Tim Howarth, head of financial services consulting at KPMG, said: “The fact that people in financial services are more than three times more likely than the national average to have followed in their parent’s career footsteps is staggering.”

Howarth said the lack of diversity in banking had resulted in “a narrow and narrowing talent pool and not enough social mobility.”

Diversity in banking is unlikely to improve, as young people working in financial services are even more likely to have followed their parents into the sector. Some 55% of bankers aged between 16 and 24 had parents who also worked in the industry, according to the poll of 500 UK financial employees, which was compared to the results for 1,000 Britons working in other sectors.

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