‘Banks shift priorities in 2018’


Eighty five percent of banks cite implementation of a digital transformation programme as a business priority for 2018, the EY Global Banking Outlook 2018 has noted.

Also, investment in technology to drive efficiency, manage evolving risks and benefit from growth opportunities is seen by banks as critical for sustainable success.

Still, addressing cybersecurity has emerged the top priority of global banks in 2018, replacing last year’s top priority of managing reputational, conduct and culture risks, which falls to sixth place in this year’s report.

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EY Nigeria Financial Services Sector Leader, Dayo Babatunde, said that banks, in efforts to weather the performance challenges that lie ahead, they must prepare for a future led by innovation and technology.

“The pace of innovation continues to accelerate, and banks must have a strategy in place to ensure their implementation of new technology is effective.”

According to the report, recruiting, developing and retaining key talent also garnered significant attention as banks strive to integrate cyber experts into their organisations in 2018 amidst a skillset shortage.

EY Partner, West Africa Advisory Leader, Ben Afudego, also noted that 10 years after the global financial crisis, banks continue to experience increased competition from a range of new market entrants and evolving risks that challenge their ability to deliver sustainable profitability.

“To perform at the highest level, institutions must emerge from an era of regulatory driven transformation and develop strategies to tackle the new evolving risks that are preoccupying the C-suite,” he said.

The report was the outcome of survey of senior executives at 221 institutions across Africa, Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific, which showed that banks are seeking to become digitally mature, completing the transition from regulatory-driven transformation to innovation-led change in order to insulate themselves from future downturns.

Respondents indicate that few banks currently consider themselves as either digitally maturing or a digital leader, but more than half (62%) aspire to be one of the two by 2020.