During the summer I teamed up with a colleague, George Ravich, to research views on the crisis amongst the financial community. We published the results in August, and here’s an update guest blog from George on the process.
New Research Finds Banking Industry Positive on Effects of Covid-Crisis
Chris Skinner and I set out to measure the banking industry’s opinions on how the Covid-crisis has affected their business, and to our surprise there is general optimism. With all of the industry grousing about how incumbent banks have been caught flat-footed, or at best paying the price for slow-poke digital transformation, it is surprising to discover that bankers are generally positive. And among the FinTech executives and consultants we surveyed, of course their businesses are doing well since they are the ones that usually benefit when the industry plunges into crisis.
First, 43% of the bankers told us that the crisis has had a positive effect on the market fit for their current products (23% are neutral and 34% think it is negative). While this is not a strong statement of support, it is still much larger than I would have predicted based on the endless news reports to the contrary. What’s not surprising is that 60% of the FinTech execs think the crisis has had a positive effect on their products and services.
Also surprising is that 51% of bankers think that the crisis has had a positive effect on their customer relationships; and about half think that there will be only a small amount of account switching as a result of the crisis. Again, much more positive than I would have predicted.
What is not surprising is that the Americans report being much more unprepared than the rest of the world to handle their government’s Covid-related programs that ran through their banks. According to the survey, 40% of the Americans said they were unprepared, which is double the global average and almost four times greater than the European results.
Not all is positive, though. Overall, respondents say the crisis has had a negative effect on all parts of the business, with sales and marketing getting hit the hardest. They think that the crisis has had a positive effect on their IT department’s ability to reach their KPIs (key performance indicators). This would make sense since it is this group that has enabled the rapid shift to work from home.
And on the topic of work from home, most think it has had a positive effect on their operations, and the vast majority (83%) say they support it going forward. Seventy-six percent say they think it will reduce their future needs for office space. So, there is little doubt that this will become a lasting effect of the Covid-crisis.
Finally, I am happy to report that when we asked about their general mood in the midst of all the mask-wearing and hand washing, most are positive. Seventy-five percent say that they are either “optimistic” or at least “trying to be positive”. Only a small minority say they are “fed-up” or “depressed”. Well, thank heavens there is still hope!
A shout-out thanks to Salesforce, Inc. for sponsoring the research.
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