In brief

In brief

  • Commercial banks’ recent digital transformation efforts are paying off.
  • Yet, threats like finding technology investments to compete with mega banks, fintech attacks on entire segments and other disruptions are growing.
  • Retain your talent. Recast your brand. Build innovation at the center of what you do—this is the future of commercial banking.
  • In 2022, opportunities for commercial banks could outweigh the risks and our top trends can be your guide for the year.


"The next 12 months will be as impactful as we have ever seen in commercial banking."

— JARED RORRER, Managing Director – Global Commercial Banking Lead​

Every year our leadership team pulls together key learnings from their work with commercial banks around the world. Our annual Commercial Banking Top Trends report aims to identify the most relevant topics that are emerging or gathering momentum—those that are most likely to transform the industry.

We believe these are the seven critical business trends every commercial banker should consider as they plan for the year ahead.

Commercial Banking Top Trends in 2022

1. Ditching the traditional "help wanted" approach

Fintech-powered banking is the path to successful talent acquisition and retention.

2. RMs: New year, new resolution

Banks are getting a better return on their CRM tools by showing relationship managers (RMs) how they can add value.

3. Next evolution of customer portals

As the new battleground in commercial banking, digital portals are embracing open banking concepts with embedded third-party services.

4. The great technical divide widens

Small and medium banks face escalating pressure to remain digitally competitive and avert the danger of losing clients and market share.

5. Embedded finance takes center stage

SMEs and consumers can access the banking services they need when they need them. Serving customers on platforms they use daily can be a game-changer.

6. Trade finance: The final analog frontier

Fintech disruption, Open Banking and blockchain enablement in trade finance will rapidly accelerate its digital transformation.

7. Sustainability may just be a banking superpower

Sustainability—and the banks that embed it in their operations—are starting to show they have the power to change the world.

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Commercial banking solutions for now and the future

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Frequently asked questions

This is a critical time for commercial banks. On the one hand, they are starting to see positive returns from their investments in digital technology. This is enabling them to provide enhanced services to customers while simultaneously improving their efficiency. At the same time, however, banks face growing threats as fintechs chip away at their customer base and revenue streams, as banking services are embedded in the offerings of multi-service platforms, and as talent are lured away by companies with more appealing cultures and reputations.

There are too many to list. But, among those powering the trends we have identified are enhancements to RMs’ CRM tools, the use of data, AI and open banking to improve the efficiency of trade finance, the increasing sophistication of customer portals, and the embedding of banking and other financial services on bigtech platforms that aim to meet as wide a spectrum of customer needs as possible.

Commercial banks face a stark choice: ignore fintechs and bigtech platforms, collaborate with them, or take them on at their own game. Each option has its risks and potential benefits, and not all three are feasible for all banks. Nonetheless, 2022 will be the year when most commercial banks will have to place their bets and start to develop deliberate strategies for dealing with this.

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