The pandemic has prompted financial institutions to adapt fast, but the UK’s financial sector was already embroiled in a Brexit-induced metamorphosis. Although crises spawn revolutionary transformations, the sector’s need to transform digitally and accommodate regulations was in place beforehand. COVID-19 shifts the goalposts while offering opportunities for Britain’s fintechs to use their new-found freedom to innovate their way into a more prosperous future in which clients’ evolving needs are met.
In the banking world, where handling money safely and securely is a foundational element of the entire industry, having the public’s trust is a nonnegotiable element of success. The financial industry had to scramble to rebuild this trust after it took a hit during the Great Recession
Banks have traditionally been considered the “owners” of whatever data they manage to collect on their customers. But that entrenched viewpoint was challenged by Open Banking, an initiative of the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority. Under this model, the consumer owns his or her data. Now the concept is spreading not only to other parts of the world but to non-payment financial products and services via Open Finance.
It’s not been an easy ride for the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) over the past couple of years – economic uncertainty, increased regulation and an ever-pressing need to cut costs and grow revenue has taken its toll. And with innovation continuing to buffet the workplace, upending business models and increasing customer demand, it’s no surprise that CFO turnover is on the up.
Technology is bringing an assortment of benefits to consumers and their banks but also a slew of new or heightened risks. In the UK, regulatory authorities are addressing the looming threats by rolling out proposals related to Operational Resilience (OpRes). UK financial firms will be expected to adhere to new rules during the second half of 2021 and need to start preparing as the journey to compliance will be arduous.
Financial services, as we enter 2020, have never been more open to innovation, collaboration and transformation, as established banks are challenged to adapt, like it or not. Worldwide, and especially in countries in which access to financial services was previously limited or nonexistent, financial technology is offering a bold and exciting new world to those financial firms that will employ it. What are the probable trends in the coming months?
Banks take security very seriously, for obvious reasons. They pride themselves on their ability to protect against threats, both externally and internally. Without consideration, however, the need to protect can come at a cost to a bank’s customer and employee experience. While many banks have done a great job of balancing their customer experience with their security needs, few have considered the impact this can have on employees.
Compliance teams are no longer the same as they used to be – they are now considered the third most-stressful City job, after investment bankers and traders. The combination of the financial crisis, Brexit and cybercrime has resulted in a high-stress profession, with constant roadblocks in the way of success.
It’s a fact. The exponential growth of data directly impacts financial institutions’ ability to do business efficiently. And there’s no sign of that growth slowing down, with IDC conservatively predicting a 26% CAGR data growth in financial services companies between 2018-2025.
In the old days, banks could work independently of others providing financial services, but not anymore. As the world becomes more interconnected, banks are being drawn into emerging ecosystems comprised of old and new players. Cooperation and integration are the names of the game for both incumbents and newcomers such as fintechs and virtual banks, but putting the blocks in place to build the infrastructure is easier said than done.