Transformation in Nordic banking


Deloitte’s 2019 Banking and Capital Markets Outlook begins by stating that “a decade after the crisis, the banking industry is on firmer ground.” Shortly after it asserts that “there may be no better time than now to reimagine digital transformation.”

Three factors are at play: macroeconomic improvements, peak regulation and access to sophisticated technologies. Having tinkered at the margins to keep the lights on, banks across the world now find themselves entering an era where:

  • Deep-seated change is desirable.
  • Radical thinking is the right approach to remain relevant.
  • Only the fittest will survive.

In this new normal, Nordic institutions must abandon their traditional cosy conservatism and enthusiastically embrace change – regardless of how culturally uncomfortable this might be. As I’ve said repeatedly over the last 15 years, doing nothing is most definitely not a strategy for guaranteed success.

Predictions for banking in 2019

No banking industry subsector or company department is immune from change. In 2019 Deloitte postulates that we’ll witness:

  1. Global regulatory divergence.
  2. A "symphonic enterprise" created by technology.
  3. New-age defences to strengthen risk management.
  4. A digital leadership race in retail banking.
  5. The digitisation of corporate banking and a new credit discipline.
  6. Modernised operations in transaction banking, with a focus on improving the client experience.
  7. New client engagement models and ecosystem orchestration in investment banking.
  8. An imperative to diversify growth, bolster security and restructure the part of an organisation responsible for payments.
  9. Balancing business growth with product rationalisation and transparency.
  10. Harnessing the power of data and technologies to drive a competitive market infrastructure growth agenda.

I agree wholeheartedly, although I favour the term "digitalisation" over "digitisation," as the former relates to the exciting discovery of new commercial opportunities, untapped revenue streams and processes to operate differently. I'm also particularly struck by the thought of a "symphonic enterprise." Tempting as it is to imagine an orchestra at full aural power, Deloitte has coined this term to describe a company “where different technologies and solutions are seamlessly meshed to create maximum value.” That’s something which truly resonates with what we’re doing on behalf of our customers in the Nordics.

A new age of risk

SAS is already providing new-age defences in risk management, bolstering the security of payments to thwart the efforts of criminals and delivering materially improved client experiences in retail, corporate, transaction and investment banking. So when it comes to finding ingenious ways to solve existing and new challenges, we’re right on the money.

Looking at Deloitte’s 10 predictions, one element leaps off the screen: the fundamental need for analytics. Only analytics can give you the sophisticated insights and foresight in real time that you need to achieve these transformations. Data without analytics is value not yet realised, and the five V’s – velocity, volume, variety, veracity and value – remain critically important in the transition from a world of (big) data to a world of (artificial) intelligence.

Time and tide wait for no man. Read more about business evolution with risk analytics.


About Author

Alex Kwiatkowski

Director, Global Financial Services, SAS

Alex Kwiatkowski – pronounced K-viat-kov-ski – articulates and amplifies company strategy and point of view on the future direction of banking to senior executives, partners, media and influencers, along with creating relevant narratives and supporting content for thought-leadership purposes. His laptop screen always has too many tabs open.

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