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How Banks Can Thrive in an Uncertain World

The one certainty in the financial services sector today is that banks will be operating in an uncertain environment for the foreseeable future. Markets are volatile. Regulations are fast-evolving. The political environment is unstable. And customer demands are shifting. But there’s also good news — technology can help banks weather the uncertainty, including market and business model changes. 

First, it’s important to understand the scale of the challenges. The changing regulatory environment results in onerous stress tests to measure capital and liquidity. Banks must open their platforms to wider competition and provide more transparent fee structures. Currency and interest rate fluctuations demand decisive responses, as do political developments like Brexit and Dodd-Frank changes.

Rapid digitalisation is also an issue, with banks having to factor in the impact of new payment services, international money transfers, peer-to-peer lending and borderless accounts. And customers, primed to receive hyper-responsive, automated service from other industries via mobile devices, are driving a massive business model shift from neighborhood branches to online and mobile services. 

These challenges demand new strategies, and that means banks need accurate, timely information so they can make sound business decisions. They must combine past performance data and forward-looking information to gain insight. They must also overcome data quality issues, consolidate multiple application interfaces and move toward a connected planning approach rather than siloed planning and execution.

Getting a handle on data and planning collaboratively rather than as disparate business units is the only way banks can stay competitive today and prepare for what’s ahead. They need information and organisational alignment to deal with changes, which may include headcount reduction and branch network rationalisation or rethinking business models and customer service frameworks.

Connected planning to map and measure the impact of business scenarios across operations is the key. With connected planning technology, financial services companies can model scenarios and plan for contingencies, factoring in variables beyond their direct control, including wider macroeconomic and market trends. With the ability to plan at scale using agile technology, banks can get the insight they need.

The challenges posed by market uncertainty and evolving customer expectations aren’t going away, but with flexible scenario modeling capabilities, the ability to generate forward-looking reports and access to quality data from across the organisation, banks can make better decisions. Technology can provide the transparency and insight financial services companies need to thrive in an uncertain world.




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