Financial services

The financial-services industry is undergoing a period of unprecedented change. Executives continue to adjust their business models to comply with tougher regulation, rebuild reputation and customer confidence, and anticipate sustained low-margin environments and increasing commoditisation. At the same time, rapid innovation and disruptive technologies are demanding critical strategic choices to leverage new market opportunities and gain a competitive edge.

Financial-services firms can expect better times to come — but to thrive, they must get the balance right between compliance and competitiveness, and innovation and changing consumer preferences.

To respond to the new conditions, we believe companies need to develop coherent capabilities systems that are aligned to their business models and associated products and services. In this way, they will ensure their focus is on markets where they can compete and differentiate themselves effectively. Executives looking to play a leading role will need to adapt their companies’ value propositions and operating models, if they are to capitalise on the continuing economic recovery in 2014 and beyond.

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Strategy& experts Victor Koss and Martin Roets discuss the findings of their recent digital benchmarking study and explain how financial institutions need to continuously adapt to developments in technology and digitisation in the journey to meet the needs of increasingly technologically sophisticated customers.

Our thought leadership

Banking’s Biggest Hurdle
Why coherent institutions were the first to rebound after the financial crisis.
Catalyst or threat?
The adoption of the revised Directive on Payment Services (PSD2) has set the stage for open banking in Europe. Read on to learn more about how companies can and should respond.
Strategy& European Banking Outlook 2016
European banks need to drastically transform their business models to become sustainably profitable and earn their costs of equity. Read three innovative strategic options for what traditional banks could become in this report.
Turning around investment banking
Global banks have faced a series of challenges over the last several years. In particular, the operating environment for the investment banking industry has changed fundamentally and substantially impacted its long-term profitability.
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As the capital markets landscape changes, the market for post-trade services has come of age and represents a real opportunity for firms to generate stable and sustainable returns.
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Our most recent wealth insight looks at the prospects for the global wealth management industry in 2014/15.
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For financial services firms, the opportunity to monetize customer and transaction is new and compelling – with revenues of US$175-300 billion per year. Financial firms can expect to see nontraditional players trying to muscle into the space.

How we help our clients

PwC’s strategy consulting team Strategy& helps clients in all areas of financial services—retail banking, corporate and commercial banking, wealth and asset management, capital markets, insurance, and others—in developing winning strategies. Our industry teams collaborate with our specialist colleagues in operations and digital business and technology to bring deep functional expertise to our clients.

We help clients develop top-line revenue strategies. In retail banking, this includes developing strategies to use digital technologies that revolutionise customer interaction. In wholesale banking, where product commoditisation is squeezing margins, we can help develop sophisticated risk assessment techniques and smarter segmentation strategies. In capital markets, where traditional roles are shifting, we help clients decide where to play in the value chain.

We can also help organisations develop sustainable cost reduction programmes. We have rich experience in helping clients tackle costs by reengineering core processes end to end, creating effective shared-services structures, developing outsourcing and offshoring strategies, and harnessing the value of IT.