Technology, Regulation and Customer Relation are Keys of the Financial Sector in 2020

After the financial crisis of 2008, which led, among other consequences, to greater interventions of regulatory bodies in the activities of banks, asset managers, intermediaries, investments services companies, insurers and other operators, the financial sector continues to be immersed in a deep transformation of its business and customer relationship models.

Technology is the main trigger of this change as it makes easier the arrival of new operators with different business models and changes substantially the customer-entity relationship model. An issue that, together with the intense regulation, marks the current and future trends in the financial sector.

This article is inspired by the conclusions of reports on the financial sector by two of the main consulting firms operating in Spain: KPMG and PWC. Both are based on the vision of executives from the financial world and the main regulatory bodies such as the Bank of Spain, among others.

Challenges to improve business models

Operators and regulators believe that the traditional financial sector in Spain should change and face a series of currently planned challenges:

  • Recover the operative profitability and effectiveness. In the interest of improving shareholder’s equity and reducing unproductive assets, one solution may be bank mergers, which generate entities with solid business models, reduce structural costs and provide value to the customer.
  • Strengthen capital and solvency. Operators need to improve the organic generation of funds and apply greater flexibility in the distribution of dividends, since, among other reasons, according to the outstanding loose ends from the operators need to improve the organic generation of reserves and apply greater flexibility in the distribution of dividends, since, among other reasons, among the outstanding fringes of European regulations Basel III is facing the 24.4% increase in assets weighted by risk, which will require an additional 135,000 million euros of capital.
  • Adapting companies to the digital transformation. Companies must identify the value that digitalization can bring to the business in the way it does:
    • Changes in the models of customer-entity relationship from the progressive automation of processes.
    • Improved customer knowledge, since data analysis facilitates the comprehensive management of customer information.
  • Face the new business models in the sector, mainly fintech and bigtech.
  • Restore reputation and credibility of the sector severely damaged after the financial crisis.

New trends derived from digitization

The irruption of technology, therefore, is a disruptive factor that causes important changes that materialize through new trends in the sector:

  • Lower relevance of traditional banks due to the increase in online banking and fintech entities. Users interact with their operator more and more through mobile devices or the computer, and not in bank offices. Clients tend to manage all their financial needs in a more digital and less personalized way, as banks increase process automation.
  • Security Reinforcement. The concern for cybersecurity grows with a view to preventing data theft, which has generated information exchange systems between safer entities such as blockchain or blockchain.
  • Other trends derived from the impact of technology. The innovation in the generation of products, the use of big data as a tool that generates value for distribution, and regulatory changes related to the fintech and bigtech businesses.
  • A new approach in the relationship with the client. Supported by concepts such as transparency, ethics, solidarity or sustainability, because new generations of customers demand it.

The business models of the future

The experts and executives consulted by the two large consultants predict that the financial business models of the future, to be successful, must be based on a series of principles

  • Center the model on the client. Financial operators will need to have extensive knowledge of the profile and consumption habits of their customers, providing them with a very simple product portfolio.
  • Work with simple operating models optimizing distribution. For which the financial institutions will have to redesign their bank branches, creating new formats, seeking alliances with third parties, etc. Banking offices will be of less and less relevance in the future, as consumers will migrate to digital channels.
  • Turn information management into a competitive advantage. The data analysis of the different areas in the banks (commercial, operational, risk, financial …) should be managed with advanced tools to strengthen the relationship with the client and the growth of the business.
  • Lean on innovation
  • Proactively manage risks, capital needs and adaptation to regulatory changes

In any case, the financial business will continue to be based on the value of trust as a mortar that solidifies the client’s relationship with its operator. In Spain, more than 70% of clients of financial institutions have high loyalty rates.

For all these reasons, banks and other financial operators will require a solid and differential brand positioning to transmit their strengths to the market and to their target customers, consolidating an image that should convey the qualities of their business model in a sector in continuous transformation. Specialized and efficient financial communication, therefore, is a key service for financial institutions to reinforce their growth in this new sector scenario.

 


Javier Ferrer
Financial Communication Manager at Proa Comunicación