Regulatory Delivery & the Neglection of Innovation

Sam Turner 09.06.2016

It’s a strange time – as I write this blog on a rainy summer’s day in the weeks leading up to the ‘Brexit’ vote there is an eerie feeling setting in.

It’s quite unclear how exactly things will shape up in the coming months for Financial Markets; the market has completely slowed down and the volatility of the sterling mirrors that of the infamous crash in 2008. Without conforming to the norm of almost every single news article there is out there today about the “vote in” or “vote out” conundrum, let’s look into a completely different topic to take our minds off it!

From a recruiters’ point of view who recruits for Project roles within Risk & Regulation and anyone who follows Financial Markets it is easy to see that Regulation is and will continue to be the biggest driver of hiring.  However, it is also apparent that the majority of adhering to regulation IS crucial and NEEDS to be done budgets are being dedicated to this and anything non critical is put to the bottom of the list in terms of priorities. Don’t get me wrong, adhering to regulation IS crucial and NEEDS to be done – but there is more to banking. 

If you look at the digital landscape and how customers are serviced there is a huge gap - for a while now there have been many comments flying around about digital and how it is a “watch this space” area but not much has really happened. 

If the management of banks put more of their energy and innovation into how customers are serviced there would be a lot more progression. If you look at the narrow mindset of regulatory focused deliverables and open up more avenues as to how a customer experience can be enhanced the whole process of how a bank makes money would be more efficient. 

Social media can be used as a platform for mobile banking and there are so many possibilities in this space it is almost unfathomable. The reason these possibilities are not becoming reality is because there is not enough time nor enough budget due to regulatory demands and constraints.

When will this be addressed? Some banks are working on global digital transformation programmes but they are very green at the moment. My opinion is that they are slowed down due to bank wide priorities and demand for talent in the digital space. From working in this space quite recently it is apparent that consultancies (‘Big 4’ or IT consultancies) are the biggest target for headhunting out of and into these areas – the problem with this is that there are not enough candidates on the market with the expertise needed at the pay scale that budgets are willing to pay out on. This is clearly stemming from regulatory (more critical) programmes not leaving enough budget to pay for the talent that is required to deliver. 

Will this ever change? I genuinely think there is a possible structure that can be put in place where the focus can swing at least a little more in favour of developing the digital landscape. With the platforms available in the current day it seems like such a waste to not take advantage of. I hope this food for thought will take your mind off the ‘Brexit’ vote for at least a little while.

Sam Turner's picture
Principal Consultant
sturner@morganmckinley.co.uk