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)
Ernst & Young
Traditional banking hasn’t worked well in some areas of the world, including sub-Saharan Africa, where a large percentage of the population has been financially underserviced. New, innovative fintechs have been only too happy and qualified to fill the void. By expanding access, fintechs are promoting economic and social growth in the region, especially in high-tech hubs South Africa and Kenya, which are setting an example for others to follow.
Open banking is an emerging global trend and is expected to drive increased choice for how individuals and businesses consume financial services, is driving significant change as the financial services industry adjusts to a digitally-enabled economy, and is working to appropriately manage the risk of a new digital ecosystem.
The stewardship responsibility of today’s bank has become more complicated in the light of climate change. Not only does a bank need to be cognizant of its responsibility to safeguard customer finances but also the future of the planet on which we all live. Green finance is an ever more significant influence on the decisions made by bankers determined to reconnect with the needs of society in more ways than just financial.
As FinTech companies disrupt the financial services industry with marketplace lending and blockchain-based supply chains, wholesale banks are meeting the challenge by reprioritizing IT spending and improving their innovation capacity.
Customers of financial institutions expect all of the latest digital innovations to be integrated into the products and services offered to them, but these enhancements can introduce new and more dangerous cyber threats to the sanctity of their personal data. Never before has combining effective cybersecurity, ever ready to confront today’s emerging risks, with rapidly changing technological improvements been more critical.
Change has become the key word for European Union banks, and the European Commission’s Revised Payment Services Directive, set to come into effect next January, promises to level the playing field for banks and fintechs as well as uphold consumer rights, while also possibly changing the face of traditional European banking beyond recognition. How are banks coping with the challenges and demands of the PSD2?
Controversy involving a country’s top politicians often trickles down to its vulnerable financial sector; South African banks have joined the list of victims of decisions made by their political leadership that have caused credit ratings to plunge and economic prospects to tumble, posing a challenge to the healthy internal conditions of most banks. Will a bank crisis accompany the political one?