Research from Finastra, unveiled at its flagship (virtual) industry event – Finastra Universe – shows changing priorities for corporate banks and their customers over the next five years. It reveals that corporate banks are moving away from the traditional ‘relationship builder’ approach of client interaction and management (where they build wider banking relationships with clients to cross-sell additional services) towards being ‘platform players’ that offer value-added services and can deliver real-time execution.
Torsten Pull, SVP & General Manager for Corporate Banking at Finastra said, “The pandemic has brought the future forward, forcing banks to adapt their operations in lending, trade finance and cash management, and accelerate digital transformation. To thrive, these organizations must change their business models, adopting new infrastructures that support the journey towards digital, end-to-end, platform-driven corporate banking. We wouldn’t expect this shift to remove the role of the relationship manager, rather digitization enhances their ability to access insightful data for quicker decision making.”
The research, which gauged the views of over 700 heads of relationship, technology and product across global corporate banks, shows how their priorities are changing over the next five years in line with their corporate clients’ requirements. The responses show that corporates will prioritize online banking, value-added services, and real-time service and execution above their banks’ range of products and services and relationship management in the next five years.
Corporate banks must respond. Appetite for change exists, as digital transformation budgets within these organizations are expected to increase by 2025:
Cash management and trade finance – globally, banks expect digital development budgets to grow by around 30%
Lending – globally, banks expect digital development budgets to increase by 20%
For banks in Europe and the Middle East, real-time access and execution are now the leading client requirements and are expected to remain so by 2025. Other key findings to emerge from the research for banks in Europe, Middle East and Africa:
European and Middle Eastern banks’ favoured a collaborative approach through partnerships with fintech/Regtech companies (71.2% of respondents).
When European and Middle Eastern banks are asked to list the digital functionalities they most urgently require to manage the impacts of COVID-19, they cite cloud functionality (20.5% of respondents) and digital signature technology (15.1%).
Torsten added, “The need to deliver faster, more agile and more tailored corporate finance solutions across sectors is driving corporate banks to embark on a digital transformation journey. The agility and expertise of fintech partners will be essential, as will collaboration via open platforms. As these trends ramp up, our research shows that around 70%-75% of banks are already working with fintech partners, or plan to do so in the next year. It’s a change to be embraced which will help to accelerate growth.”