2020 wasn’t a good year for shareholders scheduled to receive bank dividends. Regulators swiftly put a halt to dividend payments from banks to ward off a pandemic-induced crisis, requiring lenders to conserve capital and distribute it as needed to consumers and businesses. The dividend pipeline is slowly reopening as confidence grows in the banks’ stability, but it may be a while before shareholders receive their fair shares of the profits.
As the months roll on, the full effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have become clearer across the globe. Without a doubt, among the hardest hit regions has been Latin America. But despite the difficult health situation, banking systems have, so far, responded well to the socio-economic impacts of the crisis.
It has been an unusually eventful year for central banks all over the world in 2020, and given the current circumstances, the coming year is set to be no less busy. With a variety of challenges to overcome, therefore, central banks hope to achieve several important goals before the end of 2021.
With COVID-19 still dominating the narrative across the global banking industry, arguably the biggest challenge lenders will face in 2021 is how best to maximise the customer experience amidst such a challenging environment. Indeed, given the low interest rates that have continued to weigh heavily on banks’ net interest income (NII)
Banks around the world have been crucial throughout 2020 in stabilising their respective economies. They have ensured that liquidity continues to be transmitted to the real economy, which in turn has helped to prevent a full-blown credit crisis from emerging as happened during the 2007-09 global financial crisis.
The role of the central bank in maintaining the stability of a nation’s financial system is paramount at all times, but especially during a crisis of the magnitude of COVID-19. Around the world, policymakers have intentionally shut down their economies for the greater good of public health. What specific emergency measures have the world’s top central banks taken to confront this truly unique peril to both physical and financial well-being?
We all love to be popular, but banks could forgo the increasingly sophisticated attention of cyber-criminals who are employing the latest technologies to commit cyber-theft, with the financial industry as their favourite target. Can banks do anything to protect themselves, or are they helpless victims of this new breed of bank thief? Fortunately, there are practical steps that banks—and customers—can take to strengthen their armour against cyber-security breaches.
As COVID-19 continues to transform our daily lives in significant ways, traditional banking models have come under intense pressure. Technology is facilitating a rapidly evolving landscape for financial services, with the execution of financial transactions no longer solely under the stewardship of conventional financial institutions.
It’s not easy to be stuck in the middle, a position that banks inhabit as they process the financial activities of others. Most transactions passing through their systems are honest, but some are illicit, often involving money laundering. Are banks innocent victims of criminals who exploit their processes or knowing participants in crimes? The case has not been tried, but public sentiment leans toward the latter. Can banks come clean?
For 150 years, banks in the United States have been financial anchors in their communities, and they continue to be. But the banking industry is not anchored to its own traditions and is moving in tandem with evolving technologies and consumer expectations. Unbundling and decentralization are transforming how the financial-services industry fulfills its role to undergird societal prosperity, with the OCC providing needed guidance in a time of continuous flux.