Bank branches are becoming less needed
The decrease in the number of banks and in the number of bank branches was, as a consequence, responsible for the decrease of the number of bank employees. In 2021, the banking sector counted approximately 270 thousand employees, compared to 322.5 thousand in 2011. However, the increasing usage of new technologies was also responsible for the decrease in the number of bank branches and therefore employees in the sector. In fact, the steady growth of the online banking penetration in Italy also contributed, at least partly, to making physical branches obsolete.
Italy still lags behind in Europe
Despite increasing steadily, the online banking penetration in Italy is still rather low when compared to other European countries. Countries like Norway, leader in the digitalization of the banking sector, reached peaks of an online banking penetration as high as 94 percent, while Italy remained way below the average penetration rate.