Talking of a two-stream market divided between Political and Economic change and Social and Technological change, there are other undercurrents that ripple in these waters.
For example, why is it that most bank conferences are either about regulation or innovation? Because one forces change to happen whilst the other offers the opportunity to change? Or because regulation is political and economic whilst innovation is about the customer (social and technological)?
Why is it that banks only ever respond to two forces of change: regulation and competition? Because one is political and economic whilst the other is normally social and technological.
And yet there is something else here.
I rarely meet banks with good vision because their sight is blurred by their CEO.
Their CEO took years to get to the top of the tree and he or she is hardly likely to break the branches of that tree or cut it down in order to change it.
In other words, the CEO is the one who often cements the old way of doing business because they came up through that business.
Take this discussion of digital versus channel.
So many people think I’m just banging this drum to sell a book.
Well I am, but it is more than that as I’ve been saying this for seven years.
Banks must start from a customer vision of how they want to interact, and then build that vision with a core digital infrastructure that enables customer access in the way that supports the vision.
Customer access is then through touch points to a consistent digital architecture.
Instead, everyone keeps saying this is not the essence of what needs to be done.
We just add on another channel.
And here’s the real rub of the issue: if you’re being forced to change through regulation and seeking to lead through innovation, then why don’t you create a brand new spanking bank infrastructure fit for the digital age?
Surely it would differentiate you and it would definitely levitate you but, unfortunately, whilst some of you think it’s all about developing just another channel, you’re going to get it completely wrong.
And funnily enough, that’s exactly what Fidor Bank just said to me and, funnily enough, they were laughing all the way to the bank as they said it.