The pandemic has accelerated existing digitalisation trends in banking, giving banks more justification for not only closing branches but also consolidating. Many European banks struggled over the past decade to meet capital requirements introduced after the financial crisis. Consolidation through mergers and acquisitions is well underway, with the blessings of governments and regulators that view it as a means to streamline the financial sector and strengthen its profitability and resilience.
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)