A research report on levels of productivity in Jersey’s financial sector, produced by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) and commissioned by Jersey Finance, has highlighted five key areas to increase productivity, including investment in technology and encouraging a healthy work-life balance.

The report, ‘Jersey Means Business: Ready to support greater productivity’, which was launched at an event at the Royal Yacht hotel at the end of November, found that following the financial crisis of 2008-2009, many finance companies have seen slowing, or even negative, productivity growth for several years as the industry was required to adopt more stringent regulation and capital requirements. Data from Statistics Jersey shows that, in 2017, the GVA per full-time equivalent employee in financial services stood at £136,000 per year, down from £141,000 in 2016 and £206,000 a decade earlier (in 2017 values).

Cebr’s findings suggested that productivity leaders (‘Leaders’) in the finance industry clearly place more of a focus on both innovation and the wellbeing of staff. Leaders reportedly spend around 9% revenue on research and development (R&D), while productivity laggards (‘Laggards’) only spent about 2% on this. In addition, Leaders spent £15,000 per full-time employee on technology and Laggards only spent £6,000. From a wellbeing perspective, Cebr found that of employees at Leaders’ firms, only a quarter worked overtime, while over half of employees at Laggard firms worked overtime.

Five key areas which the report underlines as key to being a Leader firm are strong investment in R&D, updating technology, collecting data on productivity and using these to put measures in place, establishing a positive work-life balance for staff and bringing together a diverse workforce (to include neuro-diversity, skills and culture.)

At the launch event, Jersey Finance members heard from Nina Skero, Chief Executive, Cebr, on the research findings and Professor Lisa Webley, Head of Birmingham Law School at the University of Birmingham, who presented a case study on Jersey’s legal sector, focussing on lawtech.

Commenting on these findings, Amy Bryant, Deputy CEO Jersey Finance said:

“We commissioned this report to identify practical ways the finance industry can improve its productivity. It’s clear from the report findings that we should be enabling staff to work smarter, not harder, and this is done by investing in research, technology, and employees’ unique wellbeing requirements. As the Island’s leading industry we should work together to ensure we remain on the front foot and continue to invest heavily in technology and innovation to make services efficient and productive for both employees and clients.”