Slowly but surely, investment banks are hiring techies to develop iPad apps

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With every man and his dog offering some sort of mobile or tablet application, it's safe to say that - outside of the retail space - the financial sector has lagged behind. This is changing, and some investment banks are even taking on techies to develop them.

The iPad is increasingly the gadget of choice for those working in finance, and now more investment banks are offering apps for their customers.

We mentioned in January that Deutsche Bank had hired a team to develop its prime services app and it's now extending its iPad offering to include research, stock trading, post-trade and other services.

What's more, as the FT pointed out recently, the likes of Barclays Capital, Citigroup, Credit Suisse and Nomura have all developed iPad apps related to their investment banking functions.

This is starting to result in recruitment. Paul Wright, manager of technology at Robert Half Financial Services, says there hasn't been a "huge spike" in recruitment of people to application development roles, but it is happening.

"For native Apple applications, Objective C, has gained in popularity and is an actively sought skill set," he says. "Investment banks also typically look for individuals who have worked in the industry and as the iPad application development is still relatively new, it can be challenging for organisations to source the talent they need."

A number of banks are also hiring project managers for their overall mobile application development teams. Firms are looking for people with an eCommerce background, suggest recruiters, as well as a grounding in Agile project management techniques, which is currently a hot skill set.

Still, for all the traction that app development is gaining within the investment banking sector, it's the consumer side of banking which remains the most active recruiter.

"Retail banks are more comfortable to hire specialists from other industries and are leveraging the experience and knowledge of professionals in media, telecoms and gaming in their application development," says Wright.

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