Published on 25th October 2019
We know it’s happening. We know change is inevitable. So, we decided to get a company’s perspective on the disruption in the Banking & Financial Services industry by speaking to an APAC Business Lead from a Financial Services Strategic Consulting Firm.
Read on and discover more about the valuable insight they have shared with us.
Virtual banks or “digital-only” banks such as Webank (Tencent) are disrupting markets across Asia-Pacific. What are your thoughts on these non-bank players entering the industry?
They can bring in new technologies, business models and mindsets that were successfully used in other industries to the finance industry, becoming a catalyst to speed up the digital transformation of the banking world. Traditional banks can learn from them on how to reduce operating cost and interacting with the new generation of customers.
Yet, on the other hand, Regulators need to be aware of the mode of operations and risk appetite of these new entrants to ensure business risk is well balanced without affecting the stability of the financial system and the interest of the public.
What changes do you foresee will happen to the traditional banking space?
Traditional banks will need to change their normal ways of doing business, from product design, distribution channels, customer interaction, operations to risk management etc. They need to design competitive products & services with more attractive pricing, make better use of their branch channels to complement the digital channel and turn it into an advantage rather than a cost burden, outreach to new customers at every valuable touch-points while safeguarding their existing customers by increasing the switching costs. All these require not only innovative technologies but also a mindset change of their leaders and managers in BAU (business as usual) business operations & practice.
If you could change one thing in the banking & financial services industry, what would it be and why?
Risk-based investment & insurance regulations should be exercised by Regulators. Currently, the regulations and guidelines for investment & insurance selling can be quite complicated. If they can be simplified based on the investment or insurance amount (e.g. smaller amount, less risky products, or only represent a small % of the customer's total assets), it can encourage the use of technologies (e.g. AI and big data analytics) to shorten the processing and screening time.
However, for overall financial planning & portfolio review, a third-party certified financial planner's advice (fee-based approach) should be sought as part of the mandatory requirements to ensure the customer's interests and benefits are well-protected and not misled by individual agents who get commissions based on the products sold.
In your opinion, what roles have greater demand and what roles have less demand currently?
IT professionals with knowledge and experience in building Fintech enabled applications, such as AI in Chatbot, big data in customer analytics & cross-selling would be in high demand.
Business managers with general product development or operations experience may be at a disadvantage unless they have proven experience in transforming their business digitally.
Do you have any advice to those starting their careers?
Seize any chance to participate in roles or projects that are related to digital transformation in your job scope, be it product development, channel management or even in the finance department. Senior management is always looking for talents who can bring in new ideas and hands-on experience to their business for inorganic growth rather than just keeping the day-to-day business running smoothly.
What sets a candidate apart and makes you want to hire them?
Apart from meeting the required academic, knowledge & experience level, the candidate's horizon on the future of the finance industry, and their belief & enthusiasm in making an impact to the company would be a key criterion in my assessment of their suitability.
To find out more about the available opportunities in the Banking & Financial Services industry, reach out to any of our consultants here: https://www.ambition.com.hk/disciplines/banking-and-financialservices-jobs