More than half a decade after the financial crisis began in the summer of 2007, regulatory reforms, intended to make financial institutions more transparent, are still in the stages of being implemented. As a result, banks are being pulled in many directions at once; the regulators want banks to be prudent, customers want lower banking costs (yet more innovation) and shareholders want them to be profitable.
The number one issue facing retail banks today, however, seems to be the uncertainty that the new regulatory reforms will create once fully established due to loss of revenue. Numerous regulatory changes are already apparent in Europe, with the aim that a single, competitive market for financial services can emerge, with strengthened financial stability and improved efficiency. Governments want to make sure that when banks fail, or make losses, “retail customers aren’t excessively affected and taxpayers’ money isn’t used to bail banks out” (gov.uk).
However, these reforms, which put pressure on profits, are naturally expected to create more competition, at the same time as the 21st century customer is becoming more demanding. Banks therefore need to be continuously on the ball regarding new technologies and trends shaping the industry. In a nutshell, Europe’s retail banks are entering a period of regulatory reform that looks certain to put pressure on revenues, profits and margins. They may even alter banks’ core business models.
This wide range of views is being pursued at The Economist Events’ European Retail Banking Summit, for which Gong Communications is handling the PR. The Summit will bring together over 150 leaders of the retail banking industry, with policymakers, regulators, investors and customers. Together they will explore how European retail banking is on the edge of revolutionary change and how organisations must adapt in order to survive.