Rip it up and start again …

I’m having so many conversations about so much stuff that my head is spinning these days.  Fintech, digital, transformation, change … it seems to be on the lips of everyone I meet.  Yet the one thing that stands out is that it’s not necessarily happening.

This was brought home to me as I sat on a panel discussing the World Retail Banking Report, which was released by Cap Gemini this week.  The report has tracked retail banking trends for the past seven years and you can get a free copy of this year’s report here.  What is interesting is that this year found three clear trends:

  • The Customer Experience for the majority of countries is deteriorating, compared to the expectation of the customer;
  • The banks have a disconnect between what they think customers want and what they actually want; and
  • That banks are putting major investments into front-end customer experience improvements, but aren’t bothering to prioritise the customer experience in the middle or back office redesigns

Cap Gemini Infographic

This speaks volumes and just reinforces the view that:

  1. Banks see digital as a channel on top of all the legacy;
  2. That they are not tackling the big issues, but tinkering with the front-end; and
  3. Most are not keeping up with what the customer sees from the Uber and Airbnb of this world.

As one seasoned banker put it to me yesterday: “I worked for a bank for 25 years and saw it grow from $2 billion assets to $100 billion.  Now, they just keep adding and messing about with the same products they had 10, 15 years ago.  Instead of rethinking the business, they’re playing with it, and that just won’t wash.”

I guess it really comes down to having built a bank for the last quarter century that was based upon physical distribution of paper in a localised network, which leading CEO has the balls to turn around today and say: “I’m going to knock all that down and start again”.

If you know of one, let me know as that’s the bank I’d like to work for.

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