PwC: macro trends that will change financial services

By Joanna England
Global lockdowns have caused greater damage to the world’s economy than any other event or crisis in living history...

Global lockdowns have caused greater damage to the world’s economy than any other event or crisis in living history.

In fact, it is predicted that the impact of COVID-19 will be bigger than the Great Depression of the 1930s and the financial crisis of 2007/8 combined. 

Figures show that there has been a one-year reduction of 6% in global GDP, and this shrinkage is already affecting the financial services sector. However, while the pandemic has presented a number of challenges, there are solutions and ways forward, says a new report by PwC, which defines several macro trends and challenges that will alter the financial industry. See those listed:

  1. Low interest rates can ruin certain business models by crushing profit margins. But wise investments in emerging markets. 
  2. Asset impairments will decrease risk-bearing capacity for regulated industries. This shift will support the economy as it begins to recover.
  3. Companies must seek out alternative capital providers, which will hold more value in the financial sector.
  4. The pandemic will speed up the implementation of new regulatory measures globally. This presents opportunities for fintech.
  5. De-globalisation continues to associate the presence of financial organizations to the home country’s GDP. Off-shoring will rise in terms of operational risk throughout the sector. 
  6. The pressure to increase productivity via digitisation of companies has risen phenomenally.
  7. The client-driven shift to a platform and ecosystem-based financial services industry will create a new wave of disruption and disintermediation.

However, the report also points to three ways in which companies can limit damage and steer themselves towards recovery:

Re-structuring: Creating productive, agile teams that can move swiftly and work remotely, increases talent and productivity.

Re-configuring: Business operating platforms will need to undergo significant changes to deal with new methods of business transactions and reducing workforces in a post-COVID-19. The pandemic has merely accelerated progress that was already being implemented.  

Reporting results: The new crisis-caused future requires information and data on those companies and organisations that thrive and outperform in the coming years. Transparency in financial performance and compliance will be crucial in pinpointing accurately, the reasons behind that success. 

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