A Survey of Australian Actuaries in Banking: Key Takeaways

Actuaries are working in a range of banking roles: front-office investment banking (19 percent), middle-office finance (17 percent) and credit risk- related roles (19 percent). Banking actuaries come from a diverse range of backgrounds—mainly life and general insurance (38 percent)—and a strong emerging segment of actuaries with careers starting in banking (21 percent).

The main attractions to a banking career are broader career opportunities (31 percent) and variety of work compared to traditional areas (26 percent). This is reflected in the extremely wide range of current roles of our survey respondents.

Credit risk modeling roles are a natural bridge for actuaries with modeling and programming skills acquired in general insurance practice, though technical product pricing (as led by actuaries in the insurance sector) is emerging for certain banking products.

Risk-based capital and internal credit risk models are still very much a “work-in-progress,” and some actuaries are emerging as thought leaders in these fields.

Regulatory changes, in particular the Basel III liquidity requirements, are opening up opportunities for actuaries for the technical challenges of liquidity risk measurement and modeling—a largely “green-field” specialist area.

More training in banking-specific techniques and regulatory requirements is required to seize the current opportunities open to actuaries.

Regulatory changes and the evolving challenges of banking risk management since the 2008–2009 financial crisis are seen as the key drivers for the future opportunities of actuaries in banking.

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