ELearning Market Update – March 2012

One sector that has had a long-time focus on elearning and LMS is financial services. This month we take the temperature in the financial services sector with our review of the current challenges, and an invitation to take part in our own market survey.

Financial Services Focus

At Kineo we have been working with many of the world’s largest financial institutions in the US, Europe and Asia/Pacific including Barclays, UBS, Prudential, and ANZ bank. The recent financial crisis in North America and Europe has created some unique training challenges for the sector, so we decided to take a deeper look.

The shifts in the financial services sector have led to:

  • A renewed focus on risk management and mitigation
  • A requirement to improve cash and liquidity (as we write four US financial institutions have failed stress tests to see if they can withstand a financial shock)
  • New regulatory challenges
  • Significant pressure to reduce costs
  • Keeping pace with change as new products, structures and services emerge


These challenges have thrown up a number of specific training issues and requirements such as:

  • Delivering effective compliance training and tracking completion
  • Responding quickly to deliver training on changes in regulations
  • Addressing core risk areas and ensuring risk awareness
  • Developing solutions for specific risk areas such as anti-money laundering, anti-bribery and fraud
  • Supporting accreditation and certification learning
  • Ensuring great customer service at all levels from call agents to senior advisors
  • Using the right mix of learning technologies including e-learning, virtual classrooms and mobile learning
  • Lowering costs and increasing efficiency of training by leveraging learning technologies
  • Moving towards outsourcing and managed services models, but often mixed with a growth in internal capability for core requirements
  • Looking at newer methods including informal learning, communities of practice and social networking within the sector


We are seeing a significant use of elearning to address many of these requirements, not just in more obvious areas like compliance, where tracking and proof is essential, but in softer skill areas such as customer service. We have just built three modules for a major bank on tone and empathy for call agents. We have also seen some innovative uses of mobile technology. You can download from the Apple App store the Barclays Capital Interviewing skills app and try your hand at interviewing candidates and compare notes with a seasoned interviewer. It’s a good example of an innovative use of apps.

There is clearly a lot happening in the financial services sector and we have embarked on a research exercise to understand the market better and to identify strategies being adopted to address training requirements. As part of this research we will be attending a conference on 'Training, Development & Learning Technology Innovations for Financial Services' in New York next week. Come and see us if you’re in the area, and find out more about the event here.

But what do you think? Take part in our survey

We are also running a survey on the key learning issues facing financial companies and would greatly appreciate your insights. You can participate in the survey here. We will also be interviewing our own financial services clients and others in the industry to explore how the key learning and development issues are being addressed on the ground. If you’d be interested in participating, get in touch: enquiries@kineo.com

We will be writing up our findings in a new Kineo financial services sector focused white paper, which will be available next month.

Yet more acquisitions

Finally this month, yet more acquisitions... The ink was hardly dry on our last newsletter when Oracle announced they are buying Taleo in a $1.9bn acquisition. Taleo had previously acquired learn.com, so yet another LMS is folded into a major software supplier. This follows the likes of Plateau LMS, which was acquired by Success Factors, which was then itself acquired by SAP. Oracle has now spent $40 billion acquiring 70 companies that provide a range of human capital management (HCM) solutions to help large corporations manage their human resources including learning and talent management. All good news for at least the venture capital sector of the financial services market...

By Steve Rayson