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Corporate banking at high velocity

corporatebanking.gifI spoke last week at a senior level banking conference; in attendance were C and VP level executives from such major banks as JPMorgan Chase, Merrill Lynch, Harris NA, Wells Fargo, RBC, HSBC Bank USA, MasterCard Worldwide, Bank of America, Citibank, and SunTrust Bank. The conference, sponsored by global banking research firm Barlow Associates, was built around the broad theme of “Just in time business banking,” and focused on trends and innovation within the corporate banking sector.

My keynote took a look at the major trends that will impact corporate banking relationships in the years to come. I also hosted a panel discussion featuring senior executives from Merrill Lynch, Zurich North America and US Bank, examining the broad theme of “how do we innovate in a world of high velocity change?”

What’s going on in this sector of the economy mirrors so many others, as we are seeing:

  • Demographic driven velocity. Huge change is coming about in the ‘corner office’ as a generation of change-adverse boomers’ is set to retire…Gen-connect as bankers embrace velocity, are born innovative, and are fundamentally impatient with the “rest of us!”
  • Gen-connect as business bankers? The YouTube / IM generation will demand a different type of “customer interaction” in corporate banking. Rapid adoption of new business models, structure, methods, markets, products, ideas……. and constant new forms of service delivery / interaction will emerge!
    Will they even “do” banks, or is their banking future around PayPal?
  • Rapid idea cycle = rapid market shift. The bar of expectations is constantly rising. The skin to stay in the game is volatile, increasing, and instant. Customer expectations are evolving at high velocity.
  • Rapid product / service development. Time to market is the key operational focus; the ability to respond to massive, sudden market / product shifts is now key the success factor. Awareness of emerging challenges / opportunities is critical.
  • Externally focused innovation. Partnership oriented collaborative efforts goes critical (“what can we do to run your business better?”). Rethinking the real strategic role of IT from a different perspective — tactical to strategic transitions are the magic!
  • War for talent goes supernova. Skills access becomes the next corporate battle ground – those can get it and lock it up are the winners. Complexity partnerships, infrastructure offloading, next wave outsourcing (“core competencies, not cost”) provide opportunity. Innovative retention, attraction and engagement strategies becomes critical.
  • Rapid emergence of fundamental change. Complacency is a dangerous thing…Constant, relentless external innovation from unexpected competitors – “as goes Ford and GM, so too go I….” There are *no* barriers to entry and no loyalty beyond this generation to the concept of a bank?

This event comes on the heels of my recent talk in the Cayman Islands, on the broad theme of globalization of the financial services industry.

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