The need to transform the banking industry is understood and urgent. However, when it comes to taking actual steps to future-proof these organizations, many executives are struggling to figure out exactly what to do. In an effort to provide a window into success, we took a look at four US banks that have achieved recognition for their forward-thinking approaches to banking and transformation — Citizens Bank of Edmond, MVB Bank, Pathward (formerly MetaBank), and Vast Bank — and analyzed their perspectives to distill common themes.
- Transformation is ultimately about change, changing your business, your operations, your technology, and anything else you need to, to get your business to a point where it can support anything you want to do. Such flexibility is now more necessary than ever because the environment we’re operating in is advancing at an increasingly rapid pace, leading to heightened competition and making it very hard to stay even one step ahead.
- As pressures converge, it’s forcing banks to think about how they can stay top of mind with customers by placing the right bets, in the right ways. And that seems to be tripping many executives up. There are too many paths forward, too many options, too many ways to transform, creating analysis paralysis for decisionmakers.
- In this report, we lay out a number of lessons from our research that are designed to bring some clarity to the process across four key areas: executive alignment and vision, culture and operational structure, technology and infrastructure, and the risk-reward balance. While not an attempt to narrow the choices for any particular bank, this material aims to offer guidance on how to create an organization that knows how to approach them.
- Each section details specific learnings for a given area, explains how they’re expressed across the sampling of banks in our study, provides insight on how they might be manifested elsewhere, and includes a “Bank Spotlight” that dives a bit deeper into one particular example.
- All of the banks in our study share critical commonalities across our defined focus areas, including an ability to rally stakeholders, a knack for communicating their vision clearly and building an organization that can support it, the creative and thoughtful use of technology, and critically, an aptitude for distinguishing between perceived and actual risk when assessing opportunities.
- These commonalities shed meaningful light on what exactly makes an institution innovative — from how they think to how they’re built and operate — and how that leads to success. The goal of this report is to provide insight into what’s made certain transformation efforts effective and what a couple of key elements to understand might be for those looking to embark on a similar journey.
The Bottom Line
The insights and lessons laid out in this report are meant to serve as food for thought. While they do not provide a blueprint for success, they do offer a set of common ingredients that those who have been successful share. Those ingredients can be valuable tools for any institution undertaking their own transformation efforts. But they also need to be adapted for the unique attributes of each individual bank.
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