The financial services sector has enjoyed several years of strong returns but is facing intensifying pressures from a new breed of shareholders, rising regulatory costs and increasingly demanding customers. At the same time, given the maturity of the market, the inherent growth is limited making the search for greater returns even more difficult.
Responses to this complex and challenging environment will vary. The cost-based acquisition approach fuelled by deregulation and globalisation will continue, although success depends on realising critical merger synergies. Organic growth strategies are equally testing requiring the development of competitive value propositions, innovative products and smart channel management.
Ensuring that cost growth does not outstrip revenue growth is a relentless challenge. Financial institutions grapple with how to satisfy front office demands without adding cost and complexity to the back office, with the constant need for technology investment, and with how to ensure that the right organisational structure is in place to serve different customer segments and geographic markets.
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