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BANKS EMBRACE TECHNOLOGY BUT NOT FAST ENOUGH FOR SOME REGULATORS, SAP STUDY SHOWS

Banks Embrace Technology But Not Fast Enough For Some Regulators, Sap Study Shows

Regulators Expect Banks to Bring Down Time Lag for Complex Reporting From 10 Days to Only One Day;  More Than Six Out of 10 Banks Say Mobile Is Most Important Technology Trend

While technology is changing every aspect of banking operations, 77 percent of participants in a recent survey say the greatest impact will be on customer satisfaction and regulatory compliance. Some regulators, however, believe banks are moving too slowly. “The Benefits of Innovative Information Technology in the Banking Industry” was conducted by the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, New York University’s Stern School of Business and Management, the University of Applied Sciences and Arts North-Western Switzerland, the Business Transformation Academy (Basel, Switzerland) and SAP SE (NYSE: SAP). The study uncovered various trends in banking, most notably a large disconnect between regulators’ expectations and the ability of banks to meet compliance and reporting requirements. However, many banks have plans to increase their budget for IT to invest in the necessary banking solutions to meet these changing requirements.

The study included extensive desk research, in-depth interviews with C-level representatives from banks and regulatory authorities and a quantitative survey. It also provided detailed insights into the technology areas considered as most important for the industry. More than six out of 10 participants (65 percent) said mobile is the most important trend for the future, followed by in-memory computing (48 percent) and cloud (47 percent).

Banks Address a New Era in Information Technology

Banks Embrace Technology But Not Fast Enough For Some Regulators, Sap Study Shows

Banks Embrace Technology But Not Fast Enough For Some Regulators, Sap Study Shows

A senior executive from a large U.S. bank who was interviewed for the report noted that 25 percent of mobile phone users access financial services content on their phone, yielding a significant market opportunity for banks in mobile banking application development.

Mobile banking is following a similar usage curve to online banking, with China, India and the United Arab Emirates leading in adoption. In emerging markets, mobile devices provide access to financial services to previously under-banked populations. As one study participant noted, “The Hispanic market have higher penetration of mobile devices relative to PCs, so that the mobile channel becomes critical to reaching and servicing this important and growing part of the population.”

Respondents also recognize the opportunity in Big Data and analytics in banking and placed a much greater emphasis on the overall comprehensiveness of information. The top two priorities in platform features noted included completeness of aggregation (84 percent) and the availability of real-time information (62 percent).

Throughout the study, banks expressed six key expectations for Big Data in process innovation. Big Data solutions are expected to:

  • enable banks to tailor their offerings to the needs of individual customers
  • improve the banks’ trading strategies
  • provide better insights into market dynamics and improve market research
  • improve banks’ ability to react to internal and external issues
  • speed up high-quality decision-making processes
  • identify possibilities for revenue enhancement and cost reduction

According to the study, in order to implement customer-centric banking offerings to deliver better services, institutions will need to enhance their back office support systems to ensure customers experience the same quality standard through traditional or new communication channels. By synchronizing traditional and new banking channels, successful banks can retrieve all existing relevant information at every customer touch point. Banks will be forced to deliver better online services, including offering online chat in place of telephone services. They will also need to address data security and privacy issues in a competent and diligent manner to maintain trust amongst their customer base.

Regulators Define Requirements and Expectations
Throughout the study, a clear consensus prevailed that regulatory requirements are the primary driver of business model changes. Regulators agree that required levels of risk reporting in banks cannot be met given existing IT infrastructure. As one regulator noted, “IT budgets have to significantly increase to meet the current and future requirements.” Indeed, 61 percent of survey participants expect an increase in their IT budget of at least 25 percent in the next three years.

Regulators ranked new provisions that are regarded as the main cost drivers for the future IT infrastructure for banks. According to the study, the top cost driver is the Basel Committee’s guideline on principles for effective risk data aggregation and risk reporting (BCBS 239), followed by Basel III, Dodd-Frank, the recommendations set forth in the Liikanen Report, Markets in Financial Instruments Directive and Markets in Financial Investments Regulation, European Market Infrastructure Regulation and multi-curve valuations.

Regulators defined which features will characterize a state-of-the-art IT infrastructure from a regulatory standpoint. The ability to conduct automated ad hoc stress testing is key, as well as the ability to produce timely, complete, granular balance sheet data and counterparty data for the entire bank.

In order to achieve a sustainable infrastructure, regulatory authorities and auditors recommend banks make the following improvements:

  • Implementation of a central data warehouse
  • Improvement of data and process governance
  • Introduction of more automated processes
  • Flexible and customized modules for automatic analysis, stress scenario generation and ad hoc stress testing
  • Enhanced capabilities and data analytics for product valuation and bank enterprise risk management calculations
  • Enhanced capabilities for legal entity- and jurisdiction-specific analytics

As banks adopt advanced technologies to decrease the time lag on reporting, regulators have laid out their expectations. For reporting on regulatory and economic capital on a group level, institutions should aim for final results within 10 business days from the effective date. Interestingly, there is a common expectation that in the near future the time frame deemed acceptable for delivery of information will not exceed one day, granting near real-time visibility.

Banks are largely in agreement that their current systems need updating, according to the study. Respondents to the online survey expressed little confidence in the ability of their current systems and processes to simulate the potential effects of business decisions on various figures, including economic capital and regulatory capital, in real time.

Despite increased regulatory pressures for banks to update their IT infrastructure, banks remain largely focused on short-term success. As one auditor voiced, “To date, many banks tend to implement work-around and small scale solutions, but this will create significant issues in meeting potential future requirements.”

An executive summary of the study is available for download here. For more information, visit the SAP News Center.Follow SAP on Twitter at @sapnews.

Methodology
The study was executed through three pillars, including extensive desk research, followed by 20 in-depth interviews of C-level managers at various global banks, regulators, auditors and consultancies from the U.S., Europe and Africa, and an online survey of more than 1,500 members of the alumni network of Frankfurt School of Finance & Management. The interviewees were restricted to the top to upper management of the respective institution or the specialized division, such as risk management, front office or information technology.

Banking

UBX appoints new Chief Investment Officer

In line with its strategy to explore and invest in companies and platforms of the future, UBX—the Fintech and Corporate Venture Capital arm of Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) — is announcing the appointment of Matthew Kolling as the company’s Chief Investment Officer (CIO).

Matt Kolling

Matt Kolling

As CIO, Kolling will be managing UBX’s Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) fund. He will also play a key role in raising capital for UBX while assisting the company in key corporate transactions, including the structuring of joint ventures and acquisitions.

Prior to his appointment at UBX, Kolling has been Head of Venture Investments at Aboitiz & Company since 2019, wherein he had been working with UBX on investment portfolio decisions. Before that, he held senior positions in Private Equity, Venture Capital, and Investment Banking at firms such as Providence Equity Partners and Morgan Stanley in New York.

Kolling has more than 20 years of experience in managing investments and deals in the Technology and Telecommunications industries and is active in Venture Capital and startup communities in the Philippines and the Southeast Asian region. He currently chairs the Manila Angel Investors Network, among others.

“We at UBX are excited to welcome Matt as our new CIO. We firmly believe that Matt will be instrumental in driving value creation opportunities, both within the CVC fund and our corporate ventures. We look forward to working with him as we fulfill UBX’s vision of a future where banking services are embedded into everyday experiences that matter,” said UBX president and CEO John Januszczak.

Meanwhile, UnionBank president and CEO Edwin Bautista said, “The addition of world-class talents in our pool reinforces our strategy to future-proof the organization and our business as we prepare for many new opportunities that come with the changing times.”

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Banking

It’s all relative: Older generations feel helping out the family financially is more important since the Covid-19 outbreak

It’s all relative: Older generations feel helping out the family financially is more important since the Covid-19 outbreak 1

Before Covid, 23% of people prioritised helping younger generations out financially, that increased to a third as a result of the pandemic

A recent survey* conducted by Hodge has revealed that the Covid pandemic has led to more people wanting to help younger family members financially.

A third (31%)** of those questioned said that since the Covid outbreak giving a financial gift to children or grandchildren is more important to them, compared to 23% who said it was a priority before the pandemic.

The traditional “Bank of Mum and Dad” is still very much open for financial help, with parents being responsible for 72% of the gifts, but the study also revealed that financial gifts can come from all corners of the family – including children (14%) and siblings (14%).

The survey also found that a third of people have received a financial gift from family, with those aged between 25-34 as the most likely to receive

The most popular reason for gifting money to family is for special occasions such as a quarter of gifts were given for weddings and birthdays but 11% of people have received money to help with big purchases such as cars and houses. In addition, 19% of people have received help with day to day finances, with around 14% of those receiving a gift have done so to pay off debt.

Emma Graham, Business Development Director at Hodge, said of the research: “Our study showed that, as a nation, we all want to help our family out when it comes to money. And whilst we all think of the Bank of Mum and Dad or Gran and Grandad as a traditional source, we were surprised to see that 14% of brothers and sisters are also helping out.”

The findings come from a recent intergenerational study conducted by Hodge, who interviewed over 3000 people about their attitudes towards finances and their aspirations for the future. The full research findings can be found at https://hodgebank.co.uk/2020/05/19/money-its-all-relative/.

As part of the study, people were also asked about paying back the gift, with 40% of beneficiaries expecting to pay their parents back, but this dropped to 28% if the gift came from grandparents.

From the gift donor’s perspective, 26% expect the gift to be paid back, however just 15% of grandparents expected the money back.

Hodge has produced a set of guides on how families can navigate the tricky subject of giving financial gifts within a family, as well as the considerations and steps that be families should think about taking before a gift is given, such as is it a loan or a gift and thinking about contingencies if the family member’s circumstances change. The guides can be found here: https://hodgebank.co.uk/news/

Emma continued: “It’s clear that families feel strongly about offering financial support to each other if they are able and this has increased since the Covid pandemic. Before Covid, 23% of people prioritised helping their families out financially in the next five years. Since the Covid-19 outbreak that has increased to a third of people saying helping a family member financially had become more important.

“So, it is clear that the Covid-19 lockdown and subsequent predicted economic downturn, has led to more families looking to share wealth to help younger children or grandchildren during this difficult time. Many people may look to Later Life mortgages, where many products have reduced their rates and have flexible lending criteria, to help out a loved during these difficult times.”

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Banking

New report identifies the factors which will determine SMEs’ chances of a successful COVID recovery

New report identifies the factors which will determine SMEs’ chances of a successful COVID recovery 2

·         Analysis of the performance of over 1,000 UK small and medium-sized businesses by Allica Bank provides roadmap for SMEs 

·         Regular training, an openness to innovation, and a clear vision all contribute heavily to an SMEs’ chances of success  

·         Allica Bank has launched a programme of free workshops to expand on the findings and support business owners 

Business bank, Allica Bank has combined data and insight from over 1,000 UK SMEs with a multiple regression analysis to determine what factors most closely aligned with an SMEs’ chances of success and separated the highest-performing businesses from their peers. These ‘rules for success’ have been compiled from the research data to support British businesses as they look to chart a course to post-Covid recovery.  

The full report identifies six behaviours for small and medium businesses to follow, to maximise their chances of a successful COVID recovery. The six top-line rules emphasised by the data were: 

Rule 1: SMEs should regularly train staff 

Of the top-performing businesses analysed, 47% provided training for employees at least on a quarterly basis, compared to just 32% of other businesses. Regular employee training was linked closely to success by the model.  

Despite this, many small businesses have neglected training and nearly half (46%) of the small businesses analysed only provide training for employees about once a year or less often. This included 15% that never provide employer-funded training. This discrepancy could represent a significant opportunity for small businesses to unlock the potential of their employees and thrive in the post-Covid economy. 

Rule 2: SMEs need to focus on innovation and technology 

Looking again to the best performing businesses, 76% were found to either continually (39%) or often (37%) be considering new opportunities for technology in their business. This is compared to only 51% for businesses considered to be outside of the top ranks, out of which only 27% admitted to continually looking for new technology opportunities. 

Rule 3: Small business must have a formal, long-term vision  

Nearly two thirds (66%) of the most successful businesses in the survey had a formal, long-term vision, compared to just 50% of businesses outside the top 100. Looking to the businesses that scored the lowest on the SME Performance index, only 37% claimed to have a formal, long-term vision. 

Rule 4: SMEs should broaden their customer reach and find new markets 

Of the top-performing businesses, 65% of these have overseas customers compared to just 40% of the worst performing businesses. Among the best performing SMEs, over a third (34%) identified international expansion as one of the top three drivers for their success. 

Rule 5: SMEs need to develop reinvestment plans 

22% of the best performing SMEs reinvested some of their profits into the business in the past three years with an average 9% of profits being redeployed. Tellingly, this is nearly double what other businesses admit to reinvesting in their business (5%). 

Rule 6: SMEs should engage with local business organisations and networks  

Of the top 100 SMEs, 30% had obtained external credit to expand over the past three years (compared to 24% of other businesses). Meanwhile, only 16% of all other SMEs had engaged with local enterprise partnerships or growth hubs in the past three years (compared to 23% of the top 100 SMEs). 

Chris Weller, Chief Commercial Officer, Allica Bank, said: 

“All small businesses are different, as are all small business owners, but one trait they share is an innovative resilience. Whilst the coming months and years will undoubtedly continue to present extreme challenges, there is no doubt that small and medium sized businesses across the UK will rise to meet them head on.  

“To give them the best chance to succeed, though, they need to be equipped with the right tools. There is certainly no silver bullet or panacea for every small business, but as this study has found, there are a number of common factors found in the most successful businesses that allow small enterprises to thrive and that they can consider individually for their business.  

“This research has identified common ‘rules for success’ that speak to every aspect of running a business, not just the financials. Once we saw these results, we wanted to use them to help small businesses begin to re-build and prosper, by outlining common factors and then examining how best they can be practically applied to businesses in all sectors of the economy.  

“Small business owners and their employees have been hit hard by the crisis, but they have the drive and resourcefulness to breathe new life into the economy and bring energy to post-Covid Britain. Our commitment at Allica Bank is to give them the support they need to do so, every step of the way.”

The full report contains a wealth of additional data and insight into each of these topics. As part of its mission to empower small businesses, Allica Bank is making the findings freely available and running a series of free online workshops with relevant partner organisations for businesses to attend.

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