Callcredit Blog

The future of banking in the UK – no April fools here

Digital Services

On 1st April, new Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulations came into play.  Amongst other things it means that Callcredit (along with over 50,000 other firms working in the consumer credit market) will now be regulated by the FCA.  This is a positive development as it backs up the commitment of the credit industry to achieve the best possible standards for clients and consumers.

Regulation however is not the only thing that’s changing in retail banking.  Take for example KPMG’s report – Reinvention of UK Banking which calls for a fundamental overhaul of IT legacy systems across the sector.  Decades of M&A activity has created a cottage industry out of maintaining stand alone systems, data integration and inflexible customer operations.  Are firms prepared to take the risks associated with a big overhaul of their systems?   The report goes on to highlight the need for further investments in digitisation, automation and advanced data analytics.  The scale of investment required is massive and undoubtedly providers of data and system will be challenged by the banks to help deliver these transformations.

Another report, this time from the BBA – Banking on the move – puts the spotlight on the mobile revolution that has taken place, e.g. the normalisation of app use by consumers.  Over 12 million banking app downloads have taken place in the UK – that’s equivalent to about a quarter of all adults, with one bank experiencing a 40% increase in downloads in 2013.  The BBA goes on to say that the branch of the future needs to remain at the heart of banking.  However, high street presences will need to look considerably different to what we have seen in the past.  For example, Barclays are now making ipads available to customers in branches to speed up the account opening process.

But I think we’re also going to see the emergence of alternative business models.  Take for example, Metro Bank founder Anthony Thompson’s digitally-led branchless bank – Atom which is about to be launched.  He’s no April fool.

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