White Papers and Reports

EIU: In Tech We Trust

The EIU surveyed banking executives to investigate their views on the challenges facing retail banks in the years to 2020

Executive Summary

The digital revolution has moved from existential threat to potential survival strategy for the world’s retail banks. For the first time in three years, the post-crisis regulatory squeeze no longer tops our retail banking trends. Banks may not like the renewed regulatory focus on know-your-client and suitability, but they now have a more pressing draw on their resources:
financial technology (fintech).

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s previous reports reflected a somewhat defensive attitude from incumbents about the rise of non-financial sector competitors. Times change quickly, however, and banks are risking their own existence if they choose to ignore the rise of smartphones and the proliferation of real-time, low-cost competitors.

The scale of disruption is unprecedented, across every market, every distribution channel and every single product line. Fintech poses a potentially fatal risk and will be a severe test of banks’ IT systems and their ability to respond to rapid changes in customer expectations, short product development times and growing cyber risks.