Equal pay and equal opportunity make sense, but gender inequalities persist in financial services. However, progress is being made, with more women being installed in senior management and board positions in financial firms. There is much room for more progress, though. Chief executive positions, for example, remain largely filled by men.
Banks are suffering from a problem: cash. Not long ago, many struggled to maintain liquidity, then COVID-19 arrived. Consumers and businesses have flooded them with deposits, as governments have doled out aid, uncertainty has made safe havens attractive, and continual lockdowns have restricted activity. But this is likely to change soon.
Crises inspire metamorphic change, and that’s happening in banking as we trudge through a pandemic. Can banks do more than boost their digital transformations—and bottom lines? Can they be the foundation of building back better? It starts in the community, providing services to everyone, without regard to race, gender, economic status.
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.
Frontline banks are fluid, responding to and better yet anticipating customers’ evolving requirements and preferences. The pandemic has accelerated the need for banks and consumers to interact with each other through digital channels. To compete in an increasingly competitive market, traditional banks must provide tailored solutions, cooperating with specialized partners to achieve specific goals. Banking-as-a-platform has become the new norm in the industry and the only way to keep up.
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.
On December 15, US bank Goldman Sachs announced what many believe to be the strongest restrictions on fossil-fuel activity by any major bank in the United States. Most notably, the bank has become the first big American lender to restrict financing on any part of the oil-and-gas sector, with a particular focus on protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
The first week of August saw Facebook announce that it had drawn up proposals with major investment banks and credit-card companies to form data-sharing partnerships. According to the Wall Street Journal(WSJ),
Many banks have given up the fight and are working to get along with those fintech upstarts, but not regarding one area in particular: top-notch tech talent. When it comes to tech staff, the gloves are off, and banks are fighting to both recruit and hold on to the cream of the crop, recognizing how indispensable experienced professionals have become in the digital world.
“Equal pay for equal work” has been a familiar mantra, and law in many countries, for decades—but does reality coincide, especially in the world of finance? Various studies have revealed disturbing gender pay gaps, and the push is on for banks around the globe to disclose wage data according to gender and ethnicity, something many seem reluctant to do.