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Tech investment top priority for UK banks

Tech investment top priority for UK banks

The UK’s financial institutions are planning for a year of investment in new technology, despite the uncertainty posed by Covid-19, according to a new Lloyds Bank survey.

Nine in ten (88%) senior leaders within financial institutions say tech investment is a top strategic priority for the next 12 months, ahead of responding to the coronavirus pandemic at 63% and further business expansion at 62%.

Two thirds (62%) plan to increase investment in technology and core systems and a third (32%) will focus on improving their fintech offering, either via acquisitions or partnerships.

Firms said a desire to improve productivity (71%) and enhance client experience (70%) were behind their technology investment plans. Around half (47%) are investing to increase their resilience to threats such as Covid-19 and to boost cybersecurity (46%).

The findings are included in Lloyds Bank’s fifth annual Financial Institutions Sentiment Survey, which gathers views from major banks, asset and wealth management firms, insurers and intermediaries.

Adrian Walkling, head of financial services at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, comments: “Technology is crucial to improving long-term productivity in the sector, competitiveness and creating high-value jobs. Our survey suggests business leaders are firmly committed to developing the role tech plays in maintaining the UK’s position as a leader in financial services.”

Despite the continued prioritisation of tech, financial institutions’ focus on blockchain appears to have decreased, with only a quarter (27%) naming it as an investment priority compared to 35% in 2019.

In payments, open banking and APIs are seen as key, followed by QR codes and Pay by URL, data format and analytics and digital currencies.

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