The global COVID-19 outbreak has created unexpected disruption, forcing UK banks and customers to change the way we live, work and interact.

Consumers who were already struggling with finances could be worse off because of COVID-19—75 percent of individuals do not have savings to cover three months of living expenses, 20 percent of the adult population are already over-indebted and 50 percent of the population lack confidence in their financial decision making.

At the same time, the closure of office premises has shifted many employees to remote working, social distancing has increased digital engagement, restricted mobility has led to a boom in e-commerce and “stay at home” policies have given rise to new propositions.

The road to the "new normal"

To lead customers through and beyond this crisis, and to emerge in a position of strength, UK banks should resist the temptation to revert to the old ways of working. Now is an opportunity for banks to build trust with customers while doubling down on the strategic investments that accelerate their progress to the future of banking—this will not only protect short term business health but will also provide the foundation for competitively advantaged growth.

We believe this can be done across the Now, the Next and the New Normal horizons in three targeted areas.

1. Take control

During the period of strict COVID-19 lockdown and restrictions impacting society, and potentially leading customers to access government relief schemes:

  • Build trust now by shifting from reactive to proactive customer engagement.
  • Limit revenue leakage and manage risks with tactical interventions.
  • Repurpose capacity and lay the blueprint for a new estate.

2. Stabilise through efficiencies

Once COVID-19 restrictions have been relaxed, with individuals and businesses starting to reassess their long-term financial position:

  • Put control back into the hands of customers.
  • Monitor risks and costs while introducing targeted products and new propositions.
  • Develop sustainable operations through strategic investments and deployment of digitalisation and automation.

3. Accelerate the future bank

When COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted and society is preparing to return and adjust to post-COVID-19 ways of life:

  • Demonstrate sustainable intent to build trust and help customers adjust to the “new normal”.
  • Reinvest cost savings to scale new product propositions, leveraging partnerships.
  • Aggressively scale digital, AI and cloud agendas.

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The future of UK banking after COVID-19

In the coming months, UK banks will play a pivotal role in moderating the economic damage caused by this crisis. While it is encouraging to see early response measures deployed at pace, COVID-19 also presents an opportunity for banks to accelerate their journey towards the “new normal”.

It is a long game, but with a clear plan, banks can emerge as leaders. The future bank will be purpose-driven, value-generating and operationally innovative. As your business partner, we stand ready to provide whatever support you may need.

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