Employer Branding Talent Acquisition

Innovation & Technology at America’s Top 10 Banks

Innovation and banking are two words not typically mentioned in the same sentence. But digitalization is happening, and it’s happening in the banking industry at a surprisingly quick pace with the continuous growth of the Fintech sector; new investment platforms, new banking apps, cryptocurrencies and much more.

As Innovation and Technology is one out of 16 attributes that constitute the Employer Brand Index, we felt it necessary to do some research on this attribute within an industry that is seeing major disruption because of it.


We looked through thousands of publicly available comments on the user-generated platforms such as employer review sites, forums, blogs, and others. We looked in places like Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Indeed, Instagram, Comparably, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and much more.

We collected all the English language-based comments we could find in Q3 of 2018 (July, August, and September) and then measured these findings using our Employer Brand Index methodology, scoring each company on our 1 to 10 scale, 1 being the best score you can get and 10 being worst. Everyone is aiming for position 1!

We analyzed the following 10 US banks and this is how they scored:

  1. JP Morgan Chase (4.06)
  2. Bank of America (4.33)
  3. Citibank (4.96)
  4. Morgan Stanley (5.12)
  5. PNC Financial Services Group (6.20)
  6. Wells Fargo (6.57)
  7. Goldman Sachs (6.65)
  8. Bank of New York Mellon (7.25)
  9. TD Bank (9.28)
  10. US Bank (9.95)

As this research is based on 3-months of online data, it should only be viewed as a snapshot of Innovation & Technology at these companies and not an entirely accurate representation of the reality. Yet it should draw definite conclusions as to what the state of Innovation & Technology is like within the US banking industry as a whole and what the most prominent issues might be.

Analyzing these 10 banking giants, we found some common themes and one strikingly consistent problem that has to be improved upon.

Old IT systems will make talent leave

With all ten companies seeing significant issues with outdated technology, it is clear that there has to be more emphasis put on the tech infrastructure at banks. 30% of the combined data on all companies revolved around the outdated technology systems.

People were frustrated by the lack of investment in new technology in the workplace and the damage this does their productivity. Citi Group’s CEO, Stephen Bird, recently commented on this issue as an ‘extinction phase’when discussing the challenge the banking industry is faced with when trying to keep up rapid rise of financial technology, and other aspects digital banking.

And while it is clear that this serves as a significant implication to how competitive banks are in the eyes of consumers, it is also significantly damaging to their talent attraction efforts and employer brand health. Because when it boils down to it, talent in today’s tech-centric working world wants to be afforded the best technology to do their best work. And that is why J.P. Morgan and Bank of America ultimately scored better than the other eight banking giants in this report.

Continue to develop a culture of innovation

While the topic of innovation was low in comparison to other themes, we did find that the sentiment on the culture of change within the banking industry was primarily positive for seven out of the ten companies. Only TD Bank, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo showed significantly negative commentary on the topic of innovation for the period.

For example, people were happy to speak about the encouragement they receive to innovate and think innovatively in the workplace. And while the overall scoring was quite poor for most of the companies looked at in the period, this research does highlight the importance of innovation to the banking industry. It is clear that leadership is doing what they can to empower their employees to innovate while at work and think creatively to stay relevant in an ever-changing industry.

We now live in a world where innovation and technology go hand-in-hand, and therefore you need to get both right. Promoting a culture of innovation will, of course, depend on a number of different things but having the right technology in place is definitely one of them.

Below is the graphic we have to put together to illustrate and summarize what we found. If you’re interested in how your company measures up for Innovation & Technology and other attributes, check out the Employer Brand Index today. For a more extensive report of these findings, head to Innovation & Technology at the Top 10 US Banks.