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Employment in the banking sector reached an all-time high in 2023

2024-02-13 09:11:00, Ekonomi CNA

Employment in the banking sector reached an all-time high in 2023

Employment in the banking sector reached an all-time high last year.

Data from the Albanian Association of Banks show that at the end of 2023, banks reported 7,024 employees, an increase of 4.3% compared to the previous year.

Employment in the banking sector has increased for the fifth year in a row and has surpassed the previous highest level, which was recorded in 2016. In that period, the cycle of sales and mergers between commercial banks began, which led to the reduction of about work during the next three years.

The concentration brought duplication of work positions, but also the extension of the branch network, which inevitably led to staff reductions.

In part, employment was also negatively affected by the curbing of the branch network expansion strategy and the increased focus towards automation of services. But after the consolidation of the banking sector passed the main stage, employment in the banking sector returned to growth, starting in 2020.

Although the number of banks has decreased after 2018 and is now down to 11, the banks that have emerged from the consolidation process seem more competitive and with a greater focus on expanding activity.

The increase in employment, along with market pressures for wage increases, also led to a further increase in personnel costs. According to parallel data published by the Bank of Albania, for the year 2023 the expenses of commercial banks for personnel reached approximately ALL 15.7 billion, an increase of 20.6% compared to the previous year.

Meanwhile, the number of bank branches continued to decline last year as well. At the end of 2023, banks reported 385 branches, down 2.8% compared to the previous year. But, despite the several-year trend to reduce the number of branches and agencies, employment in the banking sector has been supported by the positive performance of business and the expansion of remote banking services.

The increase in digitization is bringing less need for branch workers, but this is being offset by the expansion of staff related to services that rely on technology, as well as increased employment in administrative positions, also following a natural cycle of business growth. . Also, increased activity, good financial performance and profitable results are supporting a continued expansion of employment.

Unaudited data from the Albanian Association of Banks show that the total assets of the banking sector reached ALL 1.97 trillion, with an annual increase of 5.3%. While the net profit of the banking sector for 2023, based on international financial reporting standards, reached a record value of 28.5 billion ALL, increasing by 19.5% compared to 2022.

According to INSTAT data, the financial sector has the highest average salary in the economy, but the growth of the average salary slowed down significantly in quarter III 2023. At the end of this period, the average salary in this sector reached almost 133 thousand ALL per month, in annual growth by 1.4%./ Monitor magazine

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