Bankers must shake off their complacency and learn to innovate says Jim Spowart chief executive of UK stand-alone telephone and Internet bank Intelligent Finance.
In a speech given to the Marketing Society's annual conference, Spowart argues that historic barriers to entry and lack of competition among traditional high street banks has created an industry of lumbering behemoths. This traditional banking culture is resistant to change and largely indifferent to changing consumer fashions.
Informed by his previous experiences in establishing Direct Line Financial Services and Standard Life Bank, Spowart explains how he started with a blank sheet of paper - "no legacy systems, no historical practices and no established culture" - and sketched out his dream bank. Key to the Intelligent Finance experience is the concept of offsetting interest, in which customers can keep all of their money seperate, but link it for calculations of interest.
Having been caught unawares by the pace of change at the tail end of the last century, Spowart concludes that growing competition, government intervention, a more powerful media and informed public, plus advances in technology are all combining to shake the banking industry out of its complacency and create a more vibrant marketplace.» Download the document now 141 Kb PDF