The banking industry has seen fundamental changes in the past ten years as a result of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). In the aftermath of this crisis, the regulatory environment has been overhauled in an attempt to prevent such a crisis reoccurring in the future. However, through the repairing of financial institutions and focus on the basic rebuilding of balance sheets and profitability, not to mention trust, innovation and customer centric thinking has been largely ignored, allowing Fintech businesses to grab share of the industry. In this new, fractured financial landscape, traditional banks face the challenge of protecting market share from challengers, answering new regulation, and managing the core fundamentals. Australia and New Zealand, although less impacted by the GFC, are not exempt from the race to redefine banking.
Technology and innovation are driving this change in the digital banking world. While this innovation is challenging traditional banks, it also provides the tools with which banks can answer new regulation, like Basel III, while maintaining profitability, building more stability, and operating more transparently and fairly.
Basel III, in short, is designed to improve banks’ ability to absorb shocks and improve risk management and balance sheet governance while enhancing bank transparency. These new measures have changed capital requirements for banks, introduced new liquidity and funding measures, and instituted new leverage ratios.
Answering Basel III means that customer type, relationship type, and channel type will need to be categorised, resulting in a new set of challenges for deposits managers and treasury managers. To answer these challenges, having accurate but versatile data is essential. However, banks have been slow in their move to overhaul technology systems to analyse vast amounts of data and react to the modelling requirements needed to answer Basel III.
On top of this, we see new Fintech industry entrants stepping into the arena using their innovative business models and cutting edge technology to take chunks of banks’ more profitable product lines, such as lending and payments. These companies are nimble, agile, and well funded and brimming with top technology and talent. The acceptance of these new entrants has been accelerated by the damaged reputation of the banking sector from the GFC.
For the most part, the fear that these Fintech companies would completely usurp banks has not come to pass. This is mainly due to their limited focus and limited customer insight. Fintech startups have a lot to learn about customer behaviour to be successful replacements for full-line banks.
Despite this, however, these Fintech companies are still taking profits away from banks at a time when interest rates are at a low and banks are working to answer the most revolutionary piece of banking regulation in a generation.
Banks can overcome these two challenges with the same answer. Using data analytics, banks can price fairly by incorporating all segment, economic, and regulatory variables into pricing decisions, therefore answering regulation whilst providing a much-needed answer to the Fintech startups with more fine-tuned offerings. Pricing more segments and products faster and more effectively will allow banks to win and protect their market share while growing responsibly by understanding and optimising the drivers of profitability across their portfolio. This will result in an improved customer experience and deeper market insights.
Banks should use deep data analytics available to understand the drivers of customer behaviour. They can then ensure that product design fits with these customer behaviours while satisfying Basel III measures. Banks must also use data to inform business strategies, such as optimisation, while remaining compliant with Basel III.
Answering Basel III and combating Fintech challengers while remaining profitable is not easy for banks, but data analytics technology can give Banks the edge they need.
When answering these challenges, banks will also find that they are in a better situation than they assume they are. Banks now have access to vast amounts of customer data. And through the continued introduction and improvement of customer-facing technology, such as mobile banking apps and websites, this will only continue to grow. The data held by banks is the envy of new industry challengers and a key element in answering regulation.
Banks that have invested in their technology offerings, either through partnering with a Fintech company or internal technology innovations, will be in a position to be most competitive; they can leverage more and better data to answer customer demands, maximise marketing efforts, easily integrate new services, and be able to satisfy the regulatory requirements.
Banks can use data analytics technology to have a detailed understanding of their customers and to set prices based on this understanding, provided they have the transparency needed to answer Basel III and the pricing and segmentation savvy to take advantage of rising interest rates
Nomis Solutions is working with banks in both Australia and New Zealand to help solve the problem of finding the optimum portfolio composition in both home lending and deposits. This optimisation helps to balance growth, margin, customer expectations, and stability at both portfolio and segment/sub-segment levels. In truth, optimised strategies will contribute to the bottom line of the bank through best-in-class margin management, increased operational efficiencies, and more focussed product, channel, and marketing strategies.