A new wave of restructuring is expected in the financial services sector worldwide over the next five years, with outsourcing expected to play a key role, according to a new briefing paper by the Financial Services Group of PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Economist Intelligence Unit.
Senior executives from 123 financial services institutions worldwide took part in an online survey during September and October 2003. Almost four out of five respondents expected their firms to be restructured significantly within the next five years and 92% of survey participants believed that restructuring will be "important, very important or integral" to helping complete their strategies.
The tenor of the next five years will be set by the regulators as much as by institutions themselves, the paper found. Almost a third of the survey respondents pointed to restrictions imposed on them by regulators, such as tougher rules on compliance, capital needs and competition, as being a key external driver of restructuring. Some 64% and 53% of respondents respectively said regulatory capital and reporting requirements respectively were the two issues most likely to have an impact on their firms' strategy for restructuring.
Asked which strategies would be the primary focus of their organisation’s restructuring activities over the next five years, more respondents plumped for innovative approaches such as JVs, alliances and outsourcing than did for M&A and divestitures.
Fully 75% of respondents cited IT infrastructure and applications as an area in which they would expect to expand their outsourcing. PwC predicts that over the next few years outsourcing will gradually move up the value chain for the provision of more value added and end-to-end services, at the same time radically transforming banking business models.
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