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Banks more confident than other sectors in face of digital disruption

Banks have accepted the changes brought about by digital disruption and are confident that new technologies will be core to their business success, according to a survey by Fujitsu

Most banks are positive about the changes that tech is causing in their businesses, with almost all accepting that the changes are necessary for progress.

According to research from Fujitsu, 95% of senior bank executives and consumers of finance firms agree that technology is driving change at the company, with 86% positive of the transformation this brings.

The survey, which is part of Fujitsu’s Technology in a transforming Britain report, interviewed 2,000 consumers and 40 finance firms.

It also revealed that consumers are beginning to accept change, with 39% expecting bank tellers to disappear in 10 years. In the insurance sector, 24% of consumers expect brokers to disappear in the same time frame.

The survey found that consumers are increasingly craving tech developments, with 13% wanting artificial intelligence (AI), 15% calling for biometrics, and 10% desiring a 5G mobile network to improve their banking experience within 12 months.

The banks are even keener on these technologies, with a total of 42% of decision makers at banks intending to use implement AI this year, and 35% looking to apply biometrics.

Almost half (47%) of senior executives in the finance sector think these technologies improve the productivity of staff, while 38% said they make the operation more efficient, and 37% expect them to help the business grow.

“Financial services is clearly seen by the public as a sector that has and continues to be transformed by technology,” said Mike Foster, managing director for the financial services sector at Fujitsu.

“This perception is fully justified. The majority of financial services organisations have not only embraced technology, but are seeing benefits with workforce productivity, operational efficiency and in driving business growth.”

Read more about tech in financial services

  • Insurance companies are investing in digital innovation, with a new breed of leaders formalising enterprise strategies.
  • Consumers are quickly adopting fintech products and services, with young high-earners leading the charge.
  • NatWest has expanded its financial technology support programme at a time when entrepreneurs are more apprehensive than ever.

The financial services sector has seen new industries emerge to support its tech revolution. The financial technology (fintech), insurance technology (insurtech) and regulatory technology (regtech) sectors have merged quickly and are receiving high levels of investment.

But it is not all plain sailing, with major challenges – particularly around cyber security – to overcome. The research found that 55% of the banking executives see cyber security as their biggest operational challenge. This is higher than the average of 48% across all industries.

Recent research commissioned by virtualisation and cloud infrastructure firm VMWare found that two-thirds of UK information security practitioners in the financial services sector admit to cyber security practices in their organisation that would “shock outsiders”.

This is the key finding of a survey of 201 UK-based IT security professionals who work in the financial services industry. It indicated that IT security professionals in financial services firms are losing the battle to keep vital data safe against a rising tide of cyber threats, with 90% of respondents stating they have to make compromises which could leave other areas exposed when protecting their organisation against cyber threats, and half admitting that they do this regularly.

Read more on IT for financial services

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