Bank CEOs optimistic for the year ahead

  • Matthew Clarke of PwC

Bank chiefs are bullish over prospects in the year ahead, according to a survey.

A look at the state of the industry by PwC found that 40 per cent of banking and capital markets chief executive officers were optimistic about revenue prospects over the next 12 months — up nine per cent on last year.

But more than 80 per cent of those surveyed warned over-regulation, uncertain economic growth and geopolitical uncertainty were threats.

In addition, 84 per cent of leaders in the sector predicted that technology would “completely reshape” or have major impact on competition in the industry over the next five years.

A total of 75 per cent said that the speed of technological change held dangers, while 69 per cent said that customer behaviour would change as a result of innovation.

But they added there were huge opportunities to sharpen innovation, get closer to customers and cut costs.

Matthew Clarke, PwC banking and capital markets partner, said: “More than ever before, sustainable growth stems from differentiated products and services, along with the innovation and customer intimacy that underpins them — all of which requires ongoing investment, in other words, being fit for growth.

“Rather than cutting costs in isolation, the key priority is to differentiate the capabilities needed to fuel growth from low-performing business and inefficient operations, with good costs being targeted for investment and bad costs for overhaul or elimination.”

PwC’s “setting the bar higher” report involved more than 200 banking and capital markets CEOs across 60 countries.