The turn of the year offers a perfect opportunity to review the past 12 months and to anticipate what might happen in the year ahead. A lot has happened in 2019 in the financial services industry, so here is a brief overview of the highlights:
- Cybercrime – In the old days, a masked armed gang might rob a bank but these days the hi-tech criminals prefer to do it from a laptop using various scams and frauds! Our sister company Sheards Accountancy held a presentation with Cyber Crime specialist Michael-Lea Smith of Clydesdale Bank, where he shared the devastating impacts of Cyber Fraud and tips on how to keep safe online. You can see an overview of this here.
- The use of personal data has invaded every part of society and the financial services industry is not exempt. GDPR has become a business in itself and technical departments of all financial services firms are trying to stay one step ahead of the criminals
- Banking is currently experiencing a period of great momentum toward modernisation and there has been no other time quite like this in the banking sector. The industry is at a point of key technology advances, ever-increasing customer expectations, stiff competition and massively complex regulatory precedence. The use of AI and robo-advice is both a threat and an opportunity to our profession, how long will it be before the client-adviser relationship can be replaced by a computer?!
- The driving down of costs by firms such as Vanguard have left their competitors to re-evaluate their costs and propositions to the client. This means that even more so than before, advisers have to be clear about what they are charging and more importantly what the client is getting for this. As clients demand value for money there is more of a focus on retaining clients we have and really service them rather than charging ahead and seeking new business!
So what does 2020 have in store?
The pace of change is increasing and shows no sign of slowing anytime soon…. PWC sees 6 priorities for success for 2020 and beyond, which are:
- Update your IT operating model to get ready for the new normal.
- Slash costs by simplifying legacy systems, taking SaaS beyond the cloud, and adopting robotics/AI.
- Build the technology capabilities to get more intelligent about your customers’ needs.
- Prepare your architecture to connect to anything, anywhere!
- You can’t pay enough attention to cyber-security.
- Make sure you have access to the talent and skills necessary to execute and win.
Do you agree? What other hotspots do you see in 2020? And more importantly, are you ready for the New Year of financial planning? Get in touch with us to find out what we offer.