It’s not been an easy ride for the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) over the past couple of years – economic uncertainty, increased regulation and an ever-pressing need to cut costs and grow revenue has taken its toll. And with innovation continuing to buffet the workplace, upending business models and increasing customer demand, it’s no surprise that CFO turnover is on the up.
As banking advances further into the Digital Age, some aspects will remain the same while others change. One factor that will not change is the need for banks to manage risk. Technology is both an opportunity and a challenge, aiding risk management to become more efficient but introducing new risks. One thing is certain, banking of the future will still be centred on the goal of providing top-notch customer service, which will be enhanced by data and technology.
Financial services, as we enter 2020, have never been more open to innovation, collaboration and transformation, as established banks are challenged to adapt, like it or not. Worldwide, and especially in countries in which access to financial services was previously limited or nonexistent, financial technology is offering a bold and exciting new world to those financial firms that will employ it. What are the probable trends in the coming months?
Compliance teams are no longer the same as they used to be – they are now considered the third most-stressful City job, after investment bankers and traders. The combination of the financial crisis, Brexit and cybercrime has resulted in a high-stress profession, with constant roadblocks in the way of success.
2019 was a turbulent year for businesses, with hiring across many industries suffering at the hands of Brexit. Despite all the political and economic turbulence, some professions – Tax, Public Practice, Risk, Investment Management and Legal – remained largely resilient, with vacancy numbers and salaries relatively similar to previous years.
Mr. Simon Hughes of International Banker travels to Belgium to interview Mr. Johan Thijs, Chief Executive Officer, KBC Group, on the bank’s ongoing digital transformation, the innovation that drives that transformation and KBC’s wider role in society.
Artificial intelligence has become a must-have for banks today. AI in the form of robotic process automation and machine learning is going a long way to help banks become more efficient in customer service, more compliant in adhering to regulations and more capable in tackling fraud. But like all good things, it comes with a few strings. What are the responsibilities for senior individuals and boards attached to the many benefits AI brings to banking?
Every finance department is facing the same challenge, no matter their size, expertise or industry. New technologies are entering the workplace, changing the way we work and completely upending business models. Nowadays, consumers are ‘always on,’ demanding rapid service and communications. People want to subscribe to products, rather than buy them. Even investors are asking a lot, for example insisting companies precisely predict demand to keep the bottom line lean.
The game of cat and mouse between the regulators and banks against money launderers has now moved to a new level – all thanks to the emergence of AI and machine learning technologies. AI and machine learning technologies have been around for some time, but have recently started coming into prominence in the world of financial services.
There are times when no one wants to see history repeat itself, and that’s the case among today’s investors in technology stocks. Some fear that the dot-com bubble burst of 2000 may repeat itself 20 years later. Although some tech stocks may be overvalued, the flourishing Fourth Industrial Revolution displays no signs of running out of steam any time soon. Caution is advised but not panic.