Financial sector leaders feel more positive than peers in other industries (89%) about tech change within their organisations, according to Fujitsu’s Tech in a Transforming Britain report. Despite half (50%) saying banks will not exist in their current form in a decade, an overwhelming 95% believe technology is the key to driving their organisation forward.
Seven-in-10 financial sector leaders believe technology will enable them to overcome many of the socioeconomic issues they are facing today. This is an idea that their peers agree with; over a third (37%) of business leaders are banking on financial services to innovate and drive change in the UK, while almost half of business leaders (45%) believe banks are changing the most in the UK today.
It’s a change both consumers and leaders in the industry are keen to see continue. Consumers want to see Artificial Intelligence (13%), biometrics (15%) and a 5G mobile network (10%) implemented to improve their experience in banking over the coming year. With banking leaders looking to Artificial Intelligence (42%), biometrics (35%) and robotics (32%) in the same period it is clear that there is alignment.
“Financial services is clearly seen by the public as a sector that has and continues to be transformed by technology,” said Mike Foster, Managing Director, Financial Services Sector, Fujitsu. “This perception is fully justified. The majority of financial services organisations have not only embraced technology, but are seeing benefits with workforce productivity, operational efficiency and in driving business growth. As further transformation of the sector looks inevitable – for example through the introduction of new pieces of regulation such as PSD2 and rise of blockchain technology – it is vital that organisations consider how new technologies can shape their futures and ensure they are ready to compete in a diverse marketplace.”
Improving employee productivity (47%), operational efficiency (38%) and fuelling business growth (37%) were the key internal benefits financial leaders attribute to technology today.
There are challenges ahead, however. While the financial services sector is aware of the benefits of technology, they have concerns. More than half of the sector’s leaders (55%) say cybersecurity is their biggest operational challenge today – higher than the average across industries (48%). Access to talent in a new digital world is also an issue; 56% say a lack of skilled employees has the potential to impact growth and revenue most within their business.
Foster continued: “Banks have led the digital charge for many years, a fact that is recognised both amongst their peers and UK consumers. Many assume this means there is nothing left for them to implement, yet, with almost half saying their competitors are doing more to drive the UK forward, this is clearly not the case. While there are a wealth of digital tools and services available for consumers, there is a need for banks to collaborate to begin to address their digital future. Whether that’s coming together to address cybersecurity risks, or working together to address the skills gap, the focus must now be on the internal demands to ensure success.”