Banks are experiencing a dramatic increase in turnover at the nonofficer level despite many offering attractive compensation and benefits packages, according to data from the 2022 “Crowe Bank Compensation and Benefits Survey.”

Crowe, a public accounting, consulting, and technology firm conducted its 41st annual bank compensation and benefits survey. The report compiles data from 429 financial service organizations. It includes information on benefits, incentives, director compensation, and current trends in key human capital management practices, as well as salary and bonus benchmarks for 271 job positions, according to a news release.

In 2021, banks fared well in retaining talent across all positions and while they have remained stable at the officer level – defined as employees with the legal capacity to agree and sign documents on behalf of their organization – they have seen a sharp rise in turnover for nonofficer employees in 2022. The turnover rate for nonofficers reached its highest level since 2019, increasing from 16.2% in 2021 to 23.4% in 2022. This trend occurred despite the average salary for these positions rising by 5% in 2022.

“Financial service organizations made real progress in reducing turnover over the previous two years, but the data shows it is becoming increasingly difficult for banks to retain and recruit talent at this level,” said Thomas Grottke, a managing director specializing in financial services consulting and performance improvement at Crowe in the news release. “The industry cannot compete for talent based on compensation and benefits packages alone, so organizations must work to improve their training programs and culture. Banks have had success in doing so by engaging their staff in innovation teams, new projects and initiatives; and utilizing automation to help streamline mundane processes.”

Lots of Difficulties

With the highly competitive job market, banks have found it more difficult than in the past to attract and retain talent. Fifty-four percent of those surveyed responded that retaining younger talent is “somewhat challenging,” up 19% from 2021. Many factors affect recruitment and retention, such as remote work flexibility and bonus programs. Among the financial organizations surveyed in 2022, 64% had a pay-for-performance program, and 52% planned on allowing employees to work remotely in the future.

Other key survey findings include:

  • The top five human resource management issues were related to finding, motivating, and developing the right people. “Finding and hiring the right people” was top of mind for 95% of respondents.
  • Officers saw their average salary rise this year by 6.8%, up from 3.7% in 2021.
  • The median salary of CEOs/presidents in 2022 was $265,225, an 8.3% increase since 2020.
  • The position of entry-level teller was the most difficult to fill despite receiving a 12.6% median pay increase from $26,103 in 2020 to $29,400 in 2022.
  • The chief human resources officer (CHRO) position had a 13.5% median salary increase from 2020 to 2022. According to Grottke, this is likely because CHROs were challenged with managing pandemic impacts on work environments, high levels of turnover, and evolving industry tactics to improve benefit programs, such as student loan relief, greater work flexibility, or paying for college education.
  • Although there is a rise in awareness of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues, 67% of survey respondents had not yet acted on ESG initiatives at their organizations.

The top retail banking officer had the highest percentage pay increase among all the positions within the survey, with a median pay increase of 18.2% from 2020 to 2022. “With the increase in digital banking, many retail banking officers were tasked with reevaluating their operations and had to decide whether or not to close some of their branches to be more cost-effective,” Grottke said. “On top of that, the retail banker positions are evolving into more specialized roles such as a universal banker or small business banker. In my opinion, this is the most challenging executive role in banking today.”

For more information on the survey findings, please see the 2022 “Crowe Bank Compensation and Benefits Survey.”

About the Survey
The 2022 “Crowe Bank Compensation and Benefits Survey” was completed by 429 financial services companies varying in asset size and geographic location. The participant breakdown is as follows: 126 institutions had less than $250 million in total assets, 115 had between $250 million and $500 million in total assets, 95 had between $500 million and $1 billion in total assets, 77 had between $1 billion and $5 billion in total assets and 16 had more than $5 billion in total assets.

Source: Crowe LLP