The future of banking: Reappraising core capabilities after the crisis

Published: September 18, 2009

Executive summary

For all the chaos in the global banking sector since mid-2007, some things have not changed. The purpose of banking, the needs of customers, and the core capabilities that drive the strategies of the most successful banks have endured.

What has changed is the environment in which banks operate and compete. The level of government regulation and ownership in the sector has risen dramatically. The banking value chain has been fractured, particularly the links between banks and their customers, in pursuit of returns that proved unsustainable and must now be reforged. Finally, the outlook has shifted to what will almost certainly be a prolonged period of low growth in the broader economy and the banking sector itself, with important implications for how banks compete and capture value.

If banks hope to survive and prosper, their leaders can neither conduct business as usual nor adopt temporary fixes and half-measures. They must respond at a more fundamental level, bolstering — and, to the extent that they are not already in place, creating — the essential organizational capabilities for the post-crisis era. This report is designed to guide bank leaders as they ready their institutions for the challenges and opportunities ahead.

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The future of banking: Reappraising core capabilities after the crisis