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Remaking finance and risk for the everyday bank

To be competitive in the digital world, banks will need to move beyond incremental improvements in the Finance and Risk Management function.

Overview

A recent Accenture survey found that nearly 30 percent of retail banking customers in the United States and Canada would likely consider a branchless digital bank if they were to switch from their current bank. Digital is changing the world as we know it, and every aspect of banking is evolving in response to—and to capitalize on—the phenomenon. Finance and Risk (F&R) is a key component of the change. In our view, to be competitive in this increasingly digital world, banks will need to move beyond incremental improvements in the F&R function.

In this report, Accenture suggests six areas that chief financial officers and chief risk officers should examine now to remake F&R into a competitive asset for an even more digital, connected world.

 

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Background

Digital technology—analytics, cloud and mobility—is disrupting the entire banking landscape. Customers, groomed by their experiences in other industries, expect online, always-available banking services. It is Accenture’s view that up to a third of banks’ revenue will be at risk by 2020.

To protect their business and thrive in a digitally intense, highly connected world, banks should draw on technology innovation to carve out a more strategic market position—we refer to this positioning as the Everyday Bank. The vision is to use digital technology to evolve the entire business model and place the bank at the center of a broad ecosystem that becomes a vital part of customers’ daily lives.

Achieving the status of Everyday Bank requires a new direction for the F&R function, one that shifts the focus from reactive management to a proactive approach to low-risk transparency and accountability that goes far beyond compliance.

Analysis

For the most part, current F&R functioning is not ready to handle the business needs of the Everyday Bank strategic vision. Our research indicates that at 60 percent of banks, at least a quarter of staff time is spent on credit and operational risk activities that could, and should, be automated. Also, much of risk management in the digital world must happen instantly at the point of customer need and usage. This instant assessment would, in our view, need to include considerations for regulatory compliance, such as capital, liquidity and good conduct.

The new F&R function for the Everyday Bank will be:

  • Silo-free with more tightly integrated, seamless Finance and Risk for faster, easier and more effective operations.
  • The guardian of bank reputation patrolling the blurring borders between bank and ecosystem partners to protect the bank’s data and brand.
  • A dynamic and agile responder with the ability to rearrange roles as needed to help increase flexibility within and market adaptability of the bank.

Recommendations

Accenture has identified six specific capabilities that command the attention of chief financial officers and chief risk officers now in remaking the F&R function for the Everyday Bank:

  • Mobility and security risk – An integrated mobile fraud and security approach can help assess the current state of fraud and security protection, identify necessary updates and prioritize activities with an eye to regulatory and operational considerations.
  • Analytics in budgeting and forecasting – Analytics can help bank CFOs play a more strategic corporate role, advising CEOs and contributing to profitability by looking at the organization as a whole and discussing strategies to improve performance.
  • Real-time KPIs and KRIs – Bank CFOs and CROs have an opportunity to plan for and take advantage of an unprecedented flow, landscape and velocity of data to advise their boards and CEOs on meeting key goals.
  • Reputational risk management – With the emergence of rapidly expanding digital networks for customers to access, reputation risk management takes on much more importance. The more customers seek information and make financial decisions based on an increasing number of social media-related sources, the more channels there are to monitor banks’ brands and reputation.
  • Dynamic credit risk management – Credit risk management is a key component for banks to master to regain profitable ground. Competency in the current environment can be leveraged to build capabilities in the new digital environment.
  • Managed risk culture – Banks can deploy digital data mining and communications technologies to help create a robust risk culture by tapping Big Data and unstructured data from client processes and internal communications.