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.
Kieran Donoghue, the Irish Development Authority’s Global Head of Strategy, Public Policy and International Financial Services examines the continuing uncertainty around Brexit and role that Ireland can play as a strategic partner to the United Kingdom’s (UK) financial services industry.
Banks report to shareholders, but when it comes time to respond to shareholder concerns about their positive contributions to climate-change action, banks often fall short. Progress is slow but steady, thanks to activist shareholders’ efforts, to persuade banks to accept more responsibility for their financing of fossil-fuel ventures.
We are witnessing an evolution. Banking is changing in so many ways – the move away from cash, and even cards, the urgent uptake of online banking, and a growing interest in personal investing. The slow and steady pace of the industry has been accelerated more in the last year than in the entire decade prior.
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.
Change is as much a part of life as breath itself, and that’s true in banking. Already in the midst of transforming itself to meet the expectations of its increasingly digitally inclined customer base better, COVID-19 gave it a swift kick that has expedited those adjustments. As society transitions into the “new normal”, what are some of the positive changes in banking that will remain even as the virus wanes?
As banking advances further into the Digital Age, some aspects will remain the same while others change. One factor that will not change is the need for banks to manage risk. Technology is both an opportunity and a challenge, aiding risk management to become more efficient but introducing new risks. One thing is certain, banking of the future will still be centred on the goal of providing top-notch customer service, which will be enhanced by data and technology.
Although banks have been in financial services longer than anyone else, they have a thing or two to learn about customer service from the mammoths in the retail sector. Retail subscription services are taking off, promising to deliver combinations of products conformed to the needs and likes of customers, whose preferences are well known from data analyses. What similar steps can banks adopt in their drive to augment customer satisfaction?
Sustainability is popular in so many ways today, including in investment. It’s not surprising that banks are going all out to link their brands with such a trendy concept. But Lundquist has dived beneath the surface to determine where European banks really stand on sustainability, how it is molding their corporate strategies and communications. The results prove that most banks still have a way to go to be fully credible.
Diversity and inclusion have recently become top goals in the strategic policies of many banks, but how is execution matching up? Research continues to expose large gaps between good intentions on paper and good outcomes in practice. Diversity and inclusion are more than nice-sounding words; when realized, they boost profitability. Banks that go no further than prioritising these goals in mission statements miss out on playing the ace.