Banque Saudi Fransi and AstroLabs announce 2nd cohort of the “Banker Technologist” to empower Saudi Arabia’s next-gen talents in the financial sector

Following the success and impact of its first cohort, Banque Saudi Fransi (BSF) has announced the start of the second cohort of its “Banker Technologist” to nurture the growth of new tech talent pipelines in Saudi Arabia. The program is held in partnership with AstroLabs, the Gulf’s leading expansion platform.

The initiative comes as part of the BSF’s efforts to develop its human capital and accelerate its digital mindset while nurturing the growth of talent in the financial sector.

The kingdom is actively fostering a conducive environment for banking and financial innovation and strengthening its digital infrastructure in line with its Vision 2030 for digital transformation. At the helm of this growth are increasing digital consumers, driving demand for convenient, fast, and diverse financial products and services.

Fintech, as a result, has become the flagbearer of the country’s digital economy, experiencing substantial growth, both in terms of the value of capital poured into the sector and the number of fintechs joining the fold. Data from the fintech funding report- KSA 2023 pointed out that a staggering $791 million was invested in local fintechs through equity funding, representing a 70 percent year-on-year (YoY) increase.

The Banker Technologist is pillared in developing talent pipelines in the country to fuel its digital economy and enhance access to employment in high-demand fields such as fintech.

Fouad Fattal, Vice President of Key Accounts, Programs at AstroLabs said: “Building on the success of the inaugural cohort, we are delighted to announce the second cohort of the Banker Technologist, designed to help candidates achieve maximum access and immersion within the Bank from the onset. What sets the initiative apart is that it redefines the approach to conventional graduate models by building a case study within a practical, realistic environment. We are so pleased to see the number of participants grow, which is a testament to the scale, reach, and impact of the program.’’

“Cultivating strategic partnerships and meaningful engagements is at the heart of AstroLabs’ commitment to supporting the growth of the financial industry in the Kingdom, spurred by a rapidly digitizing population, strong demand for diverse financial services and products, and exponential growth in digital banking,” Fattal added.

The flagship program puts candidates on an accelerated career path to growth, narrowing the gap between formal education and employment and further enabling them to be core members of the BSF’s workforce. This year’s edition has accepted an intake of 10 candidates, who will be offered full-time employment opportunities at BSF at the end of their training period. Last year, three participants graduated from the apprenticeship and later joined BSF’s workforce.

Reema Siyam, Head of Learning and Talent Management at Banque Saudi Fransi said: “Transformation, agility, change, innovation; these are all words that we have come to use daily. BSF Academy has collaborated with AstroLabs to build a program that prepares young Saudi talent to turn those words into action. Our Technologists will experience a customized, focused program, split between classroom and practical application on the job, and embedded in the business. We are very excited to support them on their journey during the program, and beyond into their BSF careers.”

Throughout this three-phase program, participants will take part in the bank’s coding bootcamp, financial literacy, and software courses, in addition to receiving training covering communication and pitching skills. Towards the end of the program, they will also have the opportunity to partake in pairing and mentorship with their future managers.

Furthermore, the selected candidates will be able to develop insights and confidence through unbridled access to industry experts, CTOs, and technology industry leaders within the AstroLabs’ network.

At a time when the country looks to establish itself as a global leader in fintech, the program marks a pivotal step towards boosting its competitiveness and contribution to the national economy.

—————- THE END —————-

For media inquiries please contact:
Lara Fakih, Director of Communications at AstroLabs (

About AstroLabs:

AstroLabs is the leading business expansion platform in the Gulf, propelling high-growth companies across strategic industries. With a decade of supporting economic development in emerging markets, AstroLabs is the partner of choice for over 1,500 companies that have expanded across the region, engaging a vibrant network of 10,000+ market leaders in the UAE and KSA. Bridging key gaps in fundamental industries in the Gulf, AstroLabs designs sector-focused and outcome-driven programs in partnership with government entities and the private sector. AstroLabs is committed to building the future of key sectors, driving market access, and contributing to regional visions like Saudi Vision 2030.