2015 Banking Outlook
Boosting profitability amidst new challenges
As we contemplate the future of the banking industry, the temptation to merely focus on the immediate concerns is only natural. After all, the post-crisis experience, unlike any other period in recent history, has conditioned us to be myopic. But we might soon be reaching the endpoint of this chapter in the industry’s evolution, forcing us to take a longer-term view.
With remediation hopefully behind them, banks can intensify their focus on improving the economic fundamentals of their businesses. As highlighted in this report, banks, in making 2015 the year of boosting profitability, face a number of opportunities and challenges.
As the economy improves, banks cannot hope to just ride the wave, but instead will need to become more savvy — in their choice of target segments, product offerings, and pricing. Getting even better at data and analytics will clearly help here, as will the use of technology to redefine customer experience, both in the retail and commercial segments.
In attempting to boost profitability, banks will also have to ensure that ethics and a robust risk culture are embedded in the entire organisation. This has to be more than mere lip service: Looking at this mainly as a compliance issue is missing the big picture.
In the short-term, greater competition from nontraditional players might feel like an additional burden, but there is quite a bit that banks can learn from technology firms and start-ups looking to disrupt banks’ dominant position, particularly in lending and payments.