Banks shift priorities toward digitalisation, innovation: E&Y

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Banks Asia

By Bernama

Some 85 per cent of banks globally cite implementation of a digital transformation programme as a business priority this year, with greater investment in technology to drive efficiency and growth, according to the EY Global Banking Outlook 2018.

In a statement today, Ernst & Young Advisory Services Sdn Bhd (EYAS) said the survey, involving senior executives at 221 banking institutions across Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America and emerging markets, also found that managing evolving risks was also viewed as critical for sustainable success.

Partner and Malaysia Financial Services Banking and Capital Markets Advisory Leader, EYAS, Shankar Kanabiran said that 66 per cent of of respondents in Malaysia aimed to reach digital maturity by 2020, echoing similar aspirations to other markets in the region and the world.

“All of them are focused on investing in technology in the coming three years in line with their growthstrategies and in order to generate cost savings and operating efficiencies. Over half of the banks inMalaysia are also likely to set up partnerships or joint ventures in core markets this year.

“All of the banks surveyed in Malaysia have similarly identified recruiting, developing and retaining talent as one of the top priorities, with digitalisation and other market demands pushing for new or upgradedskills from the workforce,” he said.

Partner and Malaysia Leader for Financial Accounting Advisory Services, Chan Hooi Lam, said with much more reliable and auditable credit information made available under the Malaysian Financial Reporting Standards (MFRS) 9, it would be critical for banks to improve their digital and technological capabilities.

This was to ensure accurate and efficient financial reporting, as well as to take advantage of the available analytics now made possible, he added.

Meanwhile, based on the EY survey, only 4.0 per cent of banks across developed markets in Asia-Pacific currently view themselves as being digitally mature or digital leaders while 27 per cent of banks in North America and 15 per cent in Europe consider themselves as being digitally mature today.

EY Global Banking and Capital Markets Deputy Sector Leader, Jan Bellens, said this may indicate that American and European banks were benchmarking themselves against traditional competitors, whilebanks in the developed Asia-Pacific markets of Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan were comparing their maturity levels with those of emerging competitors, who had more digitally focused business models.

“Asia-Pacific has a much higher penetration of digital and mobile technology adoption than many otherregions. Mainland China, for example, has the highest rate of financial technology adoption in the world and many of the big cities there are effectively operating as cashless environments,” he said.

EY said all respondent banks in emerging Asia-Pacific markets surveyed (mainland China, India, Indonesia and Malaysia) listed implementing a digital transformation programme, gaining efficiencies through technology, and enhancing data and cyber security as their top priorities for this year. – Bernama