Our focus is on the future of financial services (FS) effectively working with clients as they shape their businesses and execute their strategies, with a strong focus on productivity in everything we do internally and in what we advise our clients. Our staff are continually upskilling in all things digital and this benefit is passed on to our clients.
We advise on key issues such as the impact of risk and regulation, financial crime, innovations in digital technologies, and the changing face of the customer. Using proven methodologies to design and execute business transformation, backed by blueprint designs that are used as accelerators, we have invested heavily in building our technology capabilities, focusing on the areas that we believe bring the most value to our clients, including data and analytics, technology transformation and cyber.
The financial services (FS) industry has a pervasive problem with its workforce. In PwC’s 2019 Global CEO Survey, 54% of FS chief executives said that skills shortages hindered their firm’s ability to innovate effectively. These companies are investing vast amounts of money in digital technology.
They are compelled to change, if only because of the disruptive threat of new digitally enabled competition. FS firms are thus modernising their technology systems, boosting innovation, automating to drive down costs and adapting the user experience to meet the rapidly changing expectations of their customers. Yet no amount of digital investment can help them fully attain their new financial and productivity goals when the workforce is stuck in analogue.
This comprehensive report is for leaders of the financial services industry, who need to think about every aspect of workforce transformation.
We conclude with foundational steps for workforce transformation in the financial services industry, explaining how your business can start right away to raise its capabilities and ensure that it is fit to compete.
Broadening financial inclusion has been a social, economic and political priority in South Africa since 1994, but we recognise that meaningful inclusion goes way beyond ensuring someone simply has a bank account. The promise of digital channels and digital transactions is that they will truly democratise the financial system for the benefit of all. The potential impact of this kind of technologically-enabled transformation has been noticed at the highest level, with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of the establishment of the Presidential Commission on 4IR.
As part of the South African modernisation journey, an industry study tour was conducted to countries that would be of interest and relevance to South Africa. BankservAfrica and the Payments Association of South Africa (PASA) requested PwC to host the industry study tour to pursue learning from a regulatory level down to transition pathways, infrastructural and technological options selected and understanding how the markets respond to and interact with these new capabilities and products. Read more in PwC's 2019 Paymnets study tour report.
In our report titled: The productivity agenda – moving beyond cost reduction in financial services, PwC sets out the important challenges and opportunities facing the financial services industry and the ways in which senior executives should respond if they wish to move beyond simple cost cutting and improve profitability in the long term.
With banks struggling to improve their return on capital, many institutions are being forced to restructure and cut costs. Cost-cutting will only deliver so much. If financial institutions are to improve profitability in the long term they need to fundamentally improve the productivity of the enterprise.
Pieter Crafford, Financial Services Advisory Leader for PwC South Africa says: “A number of external factors have put significant pressure on the financial services industry in recent years, leaving many organisations with increased pressure on cost structures. Traditional cost reduction measures can only deliver limited results. Financial services organisations need to tackle the productivity challenge heads on in order to move to a sustainable and low-cost business model.” Learn more here.
The stakes are high. It’s time to change the way we do business - if we fail to change we will fail to survive. The shift in business models - finding new ways to commercialise products and services, new ways to go to market and getting closer to your customer - has seen a tremendous amount of change at a pace faster than we have seen before and accelerating all the time.
But let’s understand the challenge, we aren’t merely changing one part of the business, we are changing everything. This is a complex challenge, with many inter-linking parts. That requires a combination of business skills to re-imagine new ways to buy, produce and sell goods and services. It also requires technology skills so that organisations can make best use of technology advancements, as well as the ability to wrap these new business services, supported by technology in an experience that employees and customers want. Learn more here.