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Bankers Identify 2020’s Greatest Strengths and Challenges

  • by Steve DuPerrieu
  • Jan 23, 2020

When preparing for a new year, it’s always good to assess what went well and what didn’t in the previous 12 months. This exercise helps keep the triumphs on track for further success and turn past deficiencies into future victories.

To understand where bankers feel their strengths lie heading into the new decade—and where they need to improve—CSI polled banking executives from around the country, representing 227 financial institutions from across the asset-size spectrum. The data from this survey was then collected and used to create an executive report to help bankers get a pulse on the industry’s hot topics and strategies.

When asked how they would rate their bank’s 2019 performance in key areas on a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest, executives felt quite confident in several vital areas:

Customer Retention and Compliance: Above Average

Bankers gave themselves high marks on two of the most important areas for bank profitability and safety and soundness: customer retention (4/5) and compliance readiness (3.9/5).

Cybersecurity Readiness: Another High Mark

Bankers are ready for cyber threats, rating themselves 3.7/5 in cybersecurity readiness. And while it’s good that institutions feel so confident about their cybersecurity readiness, at the same time, it’s concerning. Experts warn that, as fast as institutions get a grip on the latest hacking techniques and install preventative measures, cyber criminals adjust and adapt.

In-branch and Digital Experience: Room for Improvement

At 3.5/5, bankers think they are providing a good (enough) in-branch experience for their customers. However, fewer (3.3/5) say the same about their digital experience, by which more and more customers prefer to bank. David Albertazzi, research director for Aite Group, says: “It’s good that bankers recognize that the digital experience they are providing their customers is not fully mature or where it needs to be yet. If they want to meet the challenge of attracting a younger demographic, they must be able to deliver an exceptional and personalized customer experience on a digital platform.”

Further, challenges in retaining quality talent (3/5) seem to persist throughout the industry.

Customer Data Management: Less than Stellar

Collecting and utilizing customer data is by far the greatest challenge for bankers heading into 2020 (2.5/5). Recognizing this deficiency should drive institutions to more effectively leverage customer data—whether held by themselves or their vendors—to create new revenue streams.

Download the Full Executive Report

Get a full breakdown of the data from the survey, including insight on compliance, technology, talent acquisition and cybersecurity, by downloading the full Banking Priorities 2020 Executive Report.