To be better in 2017 and beyond, financial institutions need to focus on several key opportunity areas where small changes can have a very significant impact to their business futures. Wan Marzimin, Group General Counsel and Company Secretary at Maybank*, discusses the top trends and predictions driving these changes and strategies.
DarkArrow.svg
Financial Institutions INDUSTRY INSIGHTS: SMALL CHANGE, BIG RETURNS
Back_to_top_arrow.svgimg_21.svg
Transformative or digital change in the financial field is not just about tech, but also about people. That means giving the workforce an upgrade from basic retail employees to specialized personnel – make them financial advisors as opposed to back or middle office employees – capable of handling a wider range of client and investment services. This also involves hiring, training and promoting the next generation of leaders. The larger banks are hiring more and more millennials because these employees bring a special mindset that allows them to connect with the customers of today and tomorrow. Indeed, boards and management teams in Asia are realizing that to cater to younger customers requires them to let the younger generations lead, play with new ideas and see what they can produce.
TALENT, RATHER THAN TECH, IS A FINANCIAL INSTITUTION’S MOST VALUABLE ASSET
1
Financial institutions are asking themselves: Can we innovate faster to tackle the fintech agenda? While this may be the right mindset to have, banking leaders must realize that digital strategies can only move as fast as the regulations behind them. Therefore, understanding current regulations and coordinating with policymakers needs to be a part of internal digital change. Regulators are often receptive to exchanges of ideas, and these dialogues help us understand how policies are progressing so we can adjust strategies if laws in new markets become more accommodating. This way, we have the flexibility to go where we need to go as opportunities arise.
REGULATORY CHANGE WILL BE A CORNERSTONE OF DIGITAL CHANGE
2
Local and regional banks are locked in a heated race to see who can launch the next big innovative product first. The high costs and unknown risks of R&D, however, can prove prohibitive. Therefore, to navigate these challenges, banks can form partnerships with tech companies or fintech firms to share research and resources and get their products to market faster. One approach, something that several Malaysian banks have done, is to start these partnerships with small stake investments or by funding start-ups to collaborate on product development. From there, financial institutions can build these into larger stakes or full acquisitions in future. *DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this editorial are those of the author and not Maybank.
FORGING PARTNERSHIPS – STARTING WITH SMALL ONES – WILL HELP ADVANCE PRODUCT OFFERINGS AND EXPAND THE BROADER BANKING ECOSYSTEM
3
BM_logo_colour_retina_x2Open Menu Grey