Emma Dunkley’s piece in the Financial Times, Banks fight to repair damage to brands after financial crisis, raises some important questions about the future of the banking industry and contrasts the upheaval we have witnessed with the relative stability seen in the insurance sector.
She rightly identifies that regulatory focus has begun to impact significantly in the insurance sector and we expect to see similar themes in all the remaining areas of financial services.
From a banking standpoint, the changing landscape and the consequences this has had on formerly well regarded brands is well documented. It is now clear that the global banking model which was hugely successful for HSBC, Standard Chartered and Citigroup needs to be re-thought but the challenges for regional banks in the UK are just as acute with ring fencing and the senior managers’ regime landing over the next few years.
There are starkly differing views from industry leaders as to what the bank of the future will look like. The Chairman of BBVA, Francisco González, is on record, a few weeks ago, as saying that BBVA will be a technology company in the not too distant future and Antony Jenkins at Barclays has worked hard to build that bank’s reputation as a leading innovator in technology. Others take the view that banks should stick to their core business and outsource areas like payments to firms in the technology sector who are better equipped to deliver the solutions customers want. Whichever route individual institutions decide to take, brand reputation will remain of critical importance and where large banks are failing, the ‘challenger’ banks and disintermediating firms like peer to peer lenders are beginning to reap the benefits.
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