Connect with us

Banking

Almost half of Brits with a digital-only bank account keep £1000 or less in them

Almost half of Brits with a digital-only bank account keep £1000 or less in them 1

Currently, 12 percent of Brits with a digital-only account say that they have closed their traditional bank account and gone fully digital

The average amount held in a digital-only bank account is £3,214

Despite the increasing numbers of Brits turning to digital-only banks, new research by personal finance comparison site finder.com has revealed that almost half (47%) of these accounts have less than £1,000 in them.

Furthermore, three in 10 of the accounts (30%) have just £100 or less in them. Across all digital-only accounts, the average amount held is £3,214.

Of those who have opened a digital-only account, 12 percent say they have closed their conventional bank accounts and taken their banking fully online. A further 38 percent say they will keep their traditional bank account as their primary one for the time being, keeping the digital-only bank accounts for things like travelling and their money tracking features.

However, almost two thirds (63%) of those who plan to open a digital-only bank account say that they eventually plan to use it as their main account – meaning they would have their wages paid in and direct debits taken out of them.

The region that appears most committed to new banking technology is Wales, where 78 percent of people with digital-only bank accounts say they have, or plan to, use this as their main account. At the other end of the scale, 54 percent of East Anglians with these accounts plan to make them their primary ones.

Men are putting substantially more money into their digital-only bank accounts. On average, they have £3,649 held in them compared to £2,717 for women. Slightly higher numbers of men are fully committing to these accounts as well, with 13 percent closing their traditional bank accounts as opposed to 11 percent of females.

Previous research from finder found that a quarter (24%) of Brits will have an account with a digital-only bank within the next five years, with one in ten (9%) saying they already have one.

To see more digital banking usage statistics, gender and regional breakdowns of the research including an interactive map, visit: https://www.finder.com/uk/digital-bank-usage

Commenting on the findings, Jon Ostler, CEO at finder.com said: “Technology has enabled digital-only banks and personal finance apps to offer some amazing features like spending analytics, automatically investing your spare change and safety features such as being able to instantly freeze and unfreeze your card.

“However our research shows that consumers are still hesitant about putting significant amounts of money in these accounts, and making them their primary ones. Although there are signs that this  scepticism will soften over time as the technology and brands becomes more well known, but it’s clear that fintech challengers also have a way to go in convincing consumers that they are a safe, long term option for their money.”

Going branchless: How banks can keep customers coming through the virtual doors 

Going branchless: How banks can keep customers coming through the virtual doors  2

By Richard Kelsey, Head of Software Sales at Backbase

Though you might be familiar with the popular seaside town of Newquay, you may not be familiar with its historic financial district aptly named, Bank Street. Dozens of banks and building societies have dominated this area since the late 1800s. However, the street hit the headlines recently as, 120 years after the first bank opened its doors, the last bank closed them.

This is not new. Bank closures have been part of the news agenda for years, and now, COVID-19 has further accelerated the physical turning into the digital. Across the globe, banks have had to close or limit the operating hours of their in-person locations, forcing banks to digitise at speed. Keeping the pipeline of digital sales flowing for new clients, increasing digital product origination and facilitating those cross-sell journeys to customers is key to survival.

Digital take up

Delivering seamless digital customer journeys was already a fast-growing priority for banking and wealth management organizations pre-pandemic. Research shows that 38% of customers stated UX as the most important factor when choosing a digital bank. In response, banks have been investing in digital technology and collaborating with third-party providers as they strive to offer a superior customer experience and stay competitive. But the global lockdowns – which have restricted people to banking digitally – have turbocharged these trends. Growing demand for digital onboarding, and digitized services to support the ongoing customer journey, must be matched by effective capabilities though.

Plugging the leaks

Conversion leakage is a particular problem during the digital client acquisition process. With branches shuttered during the coronavirus lockdowns, and subsequent openings and customer footfall likely to be severely limited for the foreseeable future, this leakage presents a major, and costly, challenge as institutions seek to convert digital sales and boost their return on investment.

The key is understanding why leakage happens in the first place and time and time again, there are three main trends that cause the most problems:

  1. Switching from a customer’s current provider is too difficult (for example, in transferring bill payments and direct debits).
  2. The digital process is too cumbersome (particularly where existing offline processes are simply put online).
  3. Customers lack human touchpoints and advice when they need it (especially for more complex products).

Combating these levels of leakage requires firms to take an outside-in approach, to see the process from the customer’s perspective. From this viewpoint, they can design a more customer-friendly experience that streamlines the job at hand.

One way to simplify the acquisition journey is to incorporate human/AI advisor interventions at points of friction, where customers may become stuck. Another is to adopt retargeting strategies that address customers who abandon the application process partway – for example, by storing their details in a CRM system and sending them notifications to complete the application, or referring them to an outbound call centre employee who can pick up the process by phone. Such approaches can boost completion rates by 40%, delivering substantial benefits to the bank.

Stronger digital growth

Banks’ return on tangible equity has plateaued globally at approximately 10.5% over the past decade, and the lower-for-longer interest rate environment will add to the pressure. Addressing cost-income ratios has become a matter of urgency.

Firms now face a strategic inflection point. Continuing with old business-as-usual practices will leave institutions struggling to attract new (especially younger) clients, while grappling with an exodus of existing customers and an overburdened cost base. But by digitising processes to enhance the client experience, banks and other financial institutions can increase their revenues and reduce costs, and have a loyal customer base who don’t feel the impact of the branchless bank.

Continue Reading

Shawbrook Bank “cautiously optimistic” as it Publishes Half Year Report for 2020

Shawbrook Bank “cautiously optimistic” as it Publishes Half Year Report for 2020 3
  • Financial performance impacted by the pandemic
    • Expected credit loss (ECL) charges of £45.8 million recognised on loans and advances to customers
    • Profit before tax (PBT) was impacted by the adverse effects of COVID-19 and the subsequent provisions set aside, reducing by 89% to £5.9 million
    • Customer deposits rose by 25% to £7.6 billion while capital remained strong with a CET1 ratio of 12.3%
    • A total of 15.9k payment holidays granted across the Group
  • The specialist bank continued to operate effectively through COVID-19
    • 98% of employees moved to remote working within days and no staff furloughed
    • Successfully achieved accreditation under UK Government’s CBILS
    • Continued investment in technology to digitalise the business
  • Shawbrook “cautiously optimistic” as momentum begins to return to certain specialist sectors

Shawbrook Bank has today (Monday 10 August 2020) published its half year financial results for the period ending 30 June 2020.

The specialist bank confirmed it had set aside £45.8 million of provisions to provide for potential future loan impairments caused by COVID-19. The bank reported it had also granted a total of 15.9k payment holidays to support its customers through the pandemic, of which 10.8k remained in force at 30 July 2020.

As a result of such provisions, the bank’s profitability was impacted with a reduction in PBT by 89% to £5.9 million.

Despite the challenging market conditions, the bank retained its active position in the UK savings market, increasing its retail savings deposit base by 25% to £7.6 billion. During the period, Shawbrook also successfully completed a £75 million Tier 2 re-financing to further optimise its capital structure.

Ian Cowie, Shawbrook Bank’s Chief Executive Officer, said that COVID-19 has had a clear impact on the bank’s financial performance, but Shawbrook remained in a position of strength.

He commented: “Prior to COVID-19, the Group had continued to make good financial progress, starting 2020 with a strong balance sheet and prudently positioned capital and liquidity base.

“To further optimise the Group’s capital structure, during H1 2020 we initiated a Tier 2 refinancing and, despite the challenging market conditions, successfully completed the £75 million issuance in July.

“We have also maintained our active position in the UK savings market. However, the longer-term economic impacts of the pandemic remain hard to predict and as a result we have recognised expected credit loss charges in the period on loans and advances to customers of £45.8 million and on loan commitments of £1.5 million.

“While this has clearly had an impact on profitability, our capital strength positions us well to support our customers and grow our business in line with appetite as we enter the second half of the year.”

Throughout COVID-19, Shawbrook maintained full operational functionality, with no staff furloughed and 98% of employees transferred to remote working within days of the UK lockdown being announced.

The bank adopted a series of concession opportunities across its product range to help alleviate the financial impacts of COVID-19 on its customers. During this time, Shawbrook also successfully achieved accreditation to the UK Government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) to provide further funding support to its SME clients.

Mr Cowie added: “Since the outbreak of COVID-19, our focus has remained on supporting our staff, customers and partners while at the same time safeguarding the long-term sustainability of our business.

“When the UK lockdown was announced in March 2020, we acted with speed and agility, moving to an almost entirely remote operation within days. Led by a stable and experienced management team and with the support of new and existing technology, we have continued to operate effectively throughout this period.”

Throughout the first half of the year, the bank also continued to identify investment opportunities to further digitalise its proposition, with a core focus on its SME offering.

Mr. Cowie added: “Notwithstanding the pandemic, we have continued to invest in our business to help drive our strategic ambition to become the UK’s Specialist SME Lender of Choice. As well as the ongoing deployment of targeted digital solutions across the Property, Consumer lending and Savings businesses, our investment in the development of a new growth platform in our Business Finance franchise will serve to further modernise our offering, delivering an enhanced customer journey as well as significant operational efficiencies.”

Looking to the future he continued: “Although significant uncertainties regarding the broader macroeconomic impact and pace of recovery remain, we are cautiously optimistic in our outlook as we start to see signs of momentum returning to certain of our specialist sectors.

“Our management expertise and prudent approach to credit decisioning, combined with investment in our digital propositions, means we are well positioned to adapt and respond to opportunities as they arise throughout the second half of the year.”

Continue Reading

Banking

Better banking—everyday in everyway

Better banking—everyday in everyway 4

By Bruno Pešec president at Pesec Global.

Some of the most innovative companies are also great at continuous and incremental improvement. I want to talk about three key points when it comes to succeeding with implementation of continuous improvement.

First is acknowledging that employee empowerment is at the heart of continuous improvement. The second is striving for total involvement by everybody, everywhere, everyday. Final, third point is that improvement is improvement. Cents turn into dollars.

Let’s expand on each.

Employee empowerment is at the heart of continuous improvement

In “Kaizen: The Key To Japan’s Competitive Success” Masaaki Imai divulges following as the core principles of continuous improvement:

  1. Process orientation. “Before results can be improved, processes must be improved, as opposed to result-orientation where outcomes are all that counts.”
  2. Improving and maintaining standards. “Lasting improvements can only be achieved if innovations are combined with an ongoing effort to maintain and improve standard performance levels.”
  3. People orientation. “Improvement is people-oriented and should involve everyone in the organization from top management to workers at the shop floor. Further more, it is based on a belief in people’s inherent desire for quality and worth, and management has to believe that it is going to “pay” in the long run.”

These principles are interlinked and interdependent. Without empowered people there can be no improvement. Micromanaging and overbearing bureaucracy stifle human creativity and desire to do better.

Due to the nature of my work I have residence in two countries, Croatia and Norway. Consequently, I have bank accounts in both as well. On one occasion I was had to make a bank transfer while in Croatia, and went to my local bank office to do so.

To my surprise they requested my debit card. I explained that I’ve forgotten it, but surely that shouldn’t be a problem as I’m here in person, have my national ID as well as passport, and cash required for transfer. The bank teller explained that he can ask branch manager to approve it, but it takes seven days.

Since the manager was right there, I asked why can’t we do it right now, since we are all here. “Sorry, such are the policy and procedures. I know it doesn’t make sense, but we must follow them.”

Banking is a highly regulated industry; fraud detection and anti-money laundering processes must be impeccable; but above is neither.

Everybody, everywhere, everyday

Bottom up is usually brought up when discussing implementations of continuous improvement. While it is true that those closest to work are most suitable to improve it, they often lack decision making power and budget to do so on a scale.

That’s why “everybody, everywhere, everyday” is a better mental model. No one is absolved of improvements. At any given moment there are at least hundred things you can improve right now, right here.

Think deeply about following:

  • Everybody in the organisation should be aware and have an understanding of organization’s strategy and objectives. There’s shouldn’t be multiple interpretations, and it should be unambiguous. Without clarity improvement efforts are going to be scattered and without impact.
  • No elitism, no absolution. Everybody should be actively committed to daily improvement, regardless of their rank or seniority. Leaders should be especially cognizant of leading by example. After all, how can they demand from others what they themselves are not doing. That’s hypocrisy at its finest.

    Bruno Pešec

    Bruno Pešec

  • To improve is to learn, and to learn is to improve. Unlock even more value from your continuous improvement efforts by capturing the learning and sharing it broadly and deeply within the organisation. Ideas spawn ideas, perpetuating a virtuous cycle. Peer learning is also a powerful intrinsic driver.

Improvement is improvement

Director of one European bank invited me to their customer service centre, and we were to discuss how could they innovate better. After the meeting I asked him to take me on the walk around the office so I can observe the processes. He was more than happy to oblige.

The walls were plastered with wallpapers and dashboard, colourful metrics were displayed one the hanging screens, and there was a special area dedicated to the “Hall of fame.” Much to my delight there was a wall dedicated to the improvement ideas.

It was covered with large sticky notes, each with few sentences about the problem and potential solution. I picked a few at random, and noticed that they have dates written in bottom left corner. All of the dates were months ago.

Perplexed, I asked the nearby call operator to illuminate me. What’s going on? She fired her response like she was just waiting for someone to ask her that question:

“After each call we used to write down some improvement ideas. At the end of the week we collated and submitted them to the improvement department. They were constantly rejecting our proposals for either being too small or not innovative enough. After few weeks we stopped sharing and tried to implement what we can. That resulted in one of us being scolded for taking initiative without approval, so we just stopped altogether.”

Director was blushing, but hasn’t said anything. I thanked the operator for her honesty, and told the director that he should find time to fix this. By ignoring small, incremental improvements, they are effectively atrophying their organisational muscles. And not to mention all the savings that are left behind, lost forever. Cents turn into dollars.

Better banking

I’ve talked about three key points in regards to the role of employee empowerment in the implementation of continuous improvement, and what you can do to use them well. Let me remind you that if you really want to engage in this, the first thing to do is take any of them and start today.

Continue Reading

Call For Entries

Global Banking and Finance Review Awards Nominations 2020
2020 Global Banking & Finance Awards now open. Click Here

Latest Articles

Going branchless: How banks can keep customers coming through the virtual doors  5 Going branchless: How banks can keep customers coming through the virtual doors  6
3 mins ago

Going branchless: How banks can keep customers coming through the virtual doors 

By Richard Kelsey, Head of Software Sales at Backbase Though you might be familiar with the popular seaside town of Newquay,...

Board Report Highlights Complex Decision-Making Process Across Banking and Finance sector 7 Board Report Highlights Complex Decision-Making Process Across Banking and Finance sector 8
Business12 hours ago

Board Report Highlights Complex Decision-Making Process Across Banking and Finance sector

‘The State Of Decision-Making’ report from Board, reveals business decisions made in silos without modern planning tools A third (33%)...

EaseUS Free Data Recovery Software Recover Lost And Erased Documents 9 EaseUS Free Data Recovery Software Recover Lost And Erased Documents 10
Technology16 hours ago

EaseUS Free Data Recovery Software Recover Lost And Erased Documents

Have you anytime inadvertently masterminded erased or lost data from your work territory or PC? In case along these lines,...

Shawbrook Bank “cautiously optimistic” as it Publishes Half Year Report for 2020 12 Shawbrook Bank “cautiously optimistic” as it Publishes Half Year Report for 2020 13
20 hours ago

Shawbrook Bank “cautiously optimistic” as it Publishes Half Year Report for 2020

Financial performance impacted by the pandemic Expected credit loss (ECL) charges of £45.8 million recognised on loans and advances to customers...

Shining a spotlight on operational resilience and cyber-risk in financial services 14 Shining a spotlight on operational resilience and cyber-risk in financial services 15
21 hours ago

Shining a spotlight on operational resilience and cyber-risk in financial services

By Miles Tappin, VP of EMEA for ThreatConnect, explores why the financial services industry must build a cyber security strategy...

Front line strategies for responding to the COVID-19 crisis: Experiences from legal team leaders around the world 16 Front line strategies for responding to the COVID-19 crisis: Experiences from legal team leaders around the world 17
Interviews21 hours ago

Front line strategies for responding to the COVID-19 crisis: Experiences from legal team leaders around the world

By Diane Dix – General Counsel, Total Safety, Marc Michael – Chief Counsel, Global Dispute Resolution, AES Corp, Tim Williams...

Reinventing Your Digital Marketing Strategy Post-Covid 18 Reinventing Your Digital Marketing Strategy Post-Covid 19
Business22 hours ago

Reinventing Your Digital Marketing Strategy Post-Covid

By Paige Arnof-Fenn, Founder & CEO Mavens & Moguls I started a global branding and marketing firm 19 years ago. Marketing...

The impact of a recession on your pension 20 The impact of a recession on your pension 21
23 hours ago

The impact of a recession on your pension

By James Turner, Director at Turner Little  The stock market is beginning to show signs of life as measures introduced...

From accountants to advisors: changing roles and expectations 22 From accountants to advisors: changing roles and expectations 23
Finance23 hours ago

From accountants to advisors: changing roles and expectations

By Chris Downing, Director for Accountants & Bookkeepers at Sage The line between strategic advisor and traditional accountant is blurring....

Trust matters more than ever in an uncertain world 24 Trust matters more than ever in an uncertain world 25
Top Stories24 hours ago

Trust matters more than ever in an uncertain world

By Zac Cohen, COO, Trulioo Trust in the time of COVID-19 Perhaps more than ever before, retail and investment banks...