Cybercrime has emerged as a major concern for UK financial services firms, rocketing security spending to the top of the technology investment agenda, according to a Lloyds Bank report.
While Brexit remains the biggest risk for the 100-odd financial services decision makers quizzed by Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, followed by economic uncertainty and new regulations, cybercrime has leapt from eighth place to fourth since 2018.
This increased concern is reflected in budgets. Last year, 46% of respondents said one of their firm’s top three technology investment strategies was to improve cybersecurity, behind improving customer satisfaction and reducing operating costs. In 2019, cybersecurity moves to top of the tech agenda and with greater prominence, with 70% now prioritising it.
Robina Barker Bennett, head, financial institutions, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, says: "In 2019, firms are arguably more dependent than ever on technology. With this rapid advancement, the risks from cybercrime are increasing, placing extra pressure on financial institutions to change the way they operate."
Overall, respondents are pessimistic about the year ahead, with more than half expecting growth in the UK economy to slow down in the next 12 months and two-thirds predicting domestic growth in the coming year to be weaker than G7 peers.
On Brexit preparations, 59% say they are ready for a ‘no deal’ with little or no dependency on a transition period and no further extension. Another 29% say they have a limited dependency and 12% have a significant dependency.