According to figures released on Friday, September 11, by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the United Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 6.6 percent during July, as lockdown measures in the country continued to ease and the economy showed clearer signs of recovery.
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.
Taking on the mantle of governorship of a central bank is challenging, but for Andrew Bailey, the new governor of the Bank of England, the role couldn’t be more formidable. With the United Kingdom’s long-awaited divorce from the European Union around the corner, the country’s financial system will need all the help it can get to survive the inevitable turbulence. Bailey’s new job won’t be a walk in the park!
Voters in the United Kingdom handed Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Conservative Party a resounding victory via the recent election. Apparently believing that his plan would be the best horse to ride out of the Brexit quagmire in which the nation finds itself, Johnson has a strong mandate to meet successfully the 2020 deadlines: EU exit in January and EU trade deal by year’s end. Can he do it?
There were many victims of 2008’s Great Recession, but perhaps none were as hard-pressed as those in emerging markets, who were effectively cut off by the suddenly risk-averse big banks of developed countries. Access to finance through traditional avenues is still hit and miss for those in developing countries, but things are looking up with the advent of technological solutions that are bridging the gap to a more promising future.
Customers today are leery of sharing with businesses too much of what they consider to be one of their most valuable assets: their personal data. And it’s no wonder, as data breaches abound. Fortunately for banks in the United Kingdom, they rank more highly than other businesses in customer estimation of data guardianship, according to recent research. How can businesses across sectors bolster customer trust in their data handling?
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?
The London Inter-bank Offered Rate, LIBOR, has for 50 years served as one of the most widely used benchmark interest-rate indexes. But its reputation has been tarnished by concerns that it has been manipulated by banks, and the United Kingdom’s FCA has pulled the plug on LIBOR submissions after 2021. Its successors—risk-free rates—are lining up to take over, but the transition is definitely not guaranteed to be smooth.
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.
“The times they are a-Changin’” sung Bob Dylan in the 1960’s as the civil rights movement swept through the US and changed the direction of a Nation forever.Fast forward to 2019 and this anthem of change rings true for the banking sector. Whether it be emerging FinTech start-ups, regulatory bodies or the changing demands of their customers, it’s an industry that is being disrupted from all sides.