(Bloomberg) -- Citigroup Inc. plans to hire more than 4,000 tech staff to help move its institutional clients online in the wake of the pandemic.
More than 1,000 of the recruits will join the markets technology team as part of an aggressive growth strategy, Jonathan Lofthouse, head of markets and enterprise risk technology, said in an interview.
“We’re trying to digitalize as much of our client experience as possible, front and back, and modernize our technology,” he said. “Those firms that can digitalize fastest are going to create competitive advantage.”
Banks are upgrading decades-old technology platforms to make services available remotely for both clients and workers, with multibillion-dollar programs that investors are watching closely for signs that this largess will eventually boost returns. At Citi, Chief Financial Officer Mark Mason said in March the lender raised tech spending by 10% to $10 billion last year. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boss Jamie Dimon said last month he just wants “to get it done” on the technology front, amid broader shareholder scrutiny of the bank’s expenses.
Data specialists are in particular demand across banking and the wider jobs market. Lofthouse said pay was a factor in getting new workers through the door, but training and flexible working models would help to keep them. Citi currently has more than 30,000 software engineers.
“Everyone in lockdown suddenly had to do everything digitally, whether than was getting groceries delivered or watching more Netflix,” he said. “We’ve always seen the tech market to be competitive but particularly at the moment, coming out of the pandemic, we’ve seen a digital explosion across industries.”