NFU Blog

Part 1: What is digitalization in finance

What does it mean to compete the ’Nordic way’ during and after the digital transition? Arvid Ahrin (@ahrinarvid) General Secretary for NFU,  introduces the state of play for digitalization in the Nordic financial sector, and gives insight to an increasingly cyber-physical economy driven by the 4th industrial revolution.

This week NFU publishes expert insights to the disruptive forces of the digital transition in the nordic finance sector written by seven trade union representatives in policy, politics and research. Each opinion piece is a written summary of a presentation given at the NFU Policy Affairs Forum on the 9-10th of April 2018.

The sector is highly impacted by digitization and technology, both in insurance and banking. And the change is rapid. To cope the sector must focus on the skills and competencies needed in the future: but what are those? The capacity to anticipate and adapt to change are mentioned by many business leaders as the most important, closely followed by flexibility and agility.

The number of employees who today holds the middle-qualification segment of jobs is shrinking due to the expanding automatization of that type of job. In addition, the demographic is changing, and we have fewer working per person in retirement. The financial sectors are facing huge skills and labour shortages and the industry is trying to cope, prepare and invest in new competences. 81% of banking CEOs are concerned about the speed of technological change – more than in any other sector[1]. 63% of insurance CEOs believe that the Internet of Things will be strategically important to their organisation[2].



Digitalization also means that the market is increasingly cross-border and so are the employees – trade unions must prepare to handle labour market regulations which may simultaneously overlap, collide and cause loopholes that may be detrimental to employees’ wellbeing and security.

The Nordic financial sector has the ability to compete on these terms, but it should do so the Nordic way, taking responsibility for the social dimension and using tripartite compromise to build legitimacy for structural change.



[1] PWC 18th Annual Global CEO Survey


[2] Ibis.



This is a written summary of a presentation given by Arvid Ahrin General Secretary for NFU on the 9-10th of April 2018 at the NFU Policy Affairs Forum. An event for secretariat staff with expertise in, or with a role connected to, sectorial and industry policy affairs. The overarching theme was: the disruptive impact of the fourth industrialization on the financial service sector. The purpose of the forum was to provide participants with the chance to exchange expertise and experiences on key finance sector topics while stimulating future cooperation and coordination on sectoral policy issues.  Several interesting proposals on how to follow up and improve coordination to increase the effect of shared policy work were proposed by the participants as a result.

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