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Purpose: Driving powerful transformation for banks

May 5, 2021


In brief

Is banking about to have its electric car moment?

Our research shows that purpose isn’t only about doing the right things for customers and society—it is also a powerful way to drive growth and higher market valuations.

Purpose helps banks enhance profitability and shareholder value


The share of customers planning to switch to a new main bank in the next year averages four percentage points lower among Purpose-Driven Banking Leaders when compared with other banks.


Over the 4 years to June 2020, Purpose-Driven Banking Leaders achieved an average return on equity (ROE) that was 3 percentage points higher than that of the other banks.

Why banks are making slow progress on the purpose-driven journey

Banks do not believe there is a burning platform

They expect the transition to a purpose-driven model will be slow and believe there are no competitors ready or able to disrupt the banking market with such an approach.

A focus on delivering shareholder returns

A shift to purpose-driven banking may demand that banks cannibalize some of today’s revenues for the business’s future growth. Many banks may be focused on short-term revenue and profit gains instead.

The magnitude of the change seems overwhelming

To become truly purpose-driven, a bank will need to rewire its entire business. During the pandemic, embarking on such a large strategic transformation may be difficult to contemplate.

No explicit mandate from regulators and government

In the absence of regulations that mandate banks to improve pricing transparency, simplify products, and focus on customers’ financial health, many are choosing business-as-usual.

For banks, clarity of purpose paired with digital banking maturity is a winning combination.

Kim Kim Oon


Kim Kim is with Accenture’s UKI Banking Practice and has over ten years of experience working with banks across UK, ASEAN, Hong Kong and China.

Alan McIntyre

Senior Industry Director – Banking

Edwin Van der Ouderaa


Edwin partners with clients to activate digital customer experiences at scale and growth agendas through insights and innovation.

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