There are many elements of life that have been profoundly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Some we will learn to live with, others will revert to how they were, and some we will embrace for the better. What’s certain is that we must adapt our stance in a world that is constantly changing.
While access to COVID-19 vaccines is well established in many developed countries, the situation is starkly different in the developing world, where vaccination rates are much lower. When a virus is a global concern, a coordinated global vaccine effort seems to many to be the only solution to ensure equitable and effective distribution.
Prices have been on an upward trajectory in 2021, with oil leading the pack. Factors such as increased demand facing reduced supply led to crude prices jumping nearly 45 percent during the first half of the year. Will it hit the milestone of $100 per barrel soon? Some experts predict it will, while others hold more reserved expectations.
Banks have built historic reputations on being steady and solid, traditionally making incremental improvements to operations based on an understanding of change as something that is occasionally necessary, but preferably avoided. Yet in a market distinguished by uncertainty, the only way to be ready for the future is to invest in change itself.
The upheaval spawned by COVID-19 has forced governments’ hands to wield counter-offensive measures, and one popular weapon has been fiscal stimulus. Although not everyone supports massive government spending as a tool for protecting and reviving economies hard hit by crisis, history confirms its successes and provides hope for recovery.
One pleasant surprise of the pandemic has been the shortage of business bankruptcies, despite recurrent lockdowns that have drained their incomes. But is this rosy picture a cruel illusion to be removed as governments stop propping up small companies? Banks will soon find out if government life support has simply delayed the inevitable.
Approaches to HR planning has changed significantly, and they will continue to do so. Amongst the many impacts Covid-19 has had, it’s proved that remote working is not only possible for the banking sector, but that in the right circumstances it can be more productive than traditional working models.
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.
By necessity, COVID has upped the pace of technological change in the financial services industry. However, there is a longer-term goal to revolutionise the way individuals and businesses manage money day-to-day. As digitisation booms, every player in this sector is determined to innovate.
Covid-19 has shaped and continues to reshape the financial services sector. Demonstrating a responsible response to the challenges became just as important as the business itself, in fact it became the business: “doing the right thing” became an imperative as the context aligned the success of financial institutions to those of their stakeholders, throwing into stark relief what it really means to be sustainable.