The Banking Battleground 2023:
Pulling Back and Pushing Ahead

The Banking Battleground 2023: Pulling Back and Pushing Ahead


This third edition of The Banking Battleground presents the findings of CCG Catalyst’s 2023 US Banking Study and explores how the industry is thinking about what comes next. Building on last year’s report, we asked C-level bank executives in the US about their attitudes and priorities as we look toward the future. As in prior installments, this report focuses on the differences in perspectives between more forward-thinking institutions and those that have generally taken a traditional approach.

Key Highlights

  • CCG Catalyst surveyed 122 C-level bank executives between September 2022 and February 2023 to gauge their attitudes and perspectives on their businesses and the market.
  • Using specific criteria, we grouped respondents into two categories: traditional and progressive. Based on this segmentation, we conducted an analysis to determine how the groups approach the market and how prepared each is for the future.
  • Our focus this year again included three core areas: business trends and priorities, technology and innovation, and new frontiers.
  • Overall, we observed traditional banks pulling back a bit in their ambitions as progressives push further ahead but with an eye toward regulators. All of this is against a backdrop of tremendous change and uncertainty in financial services, especially when it comes to fintech and innovation.
  • Progressives are showing a clear preference for further development of capabilities by focusing on things like integrating with fintechs and other expansion efforts, while traditional institutions remain very focused on the customer journey and have pulled back on their interest in fintech providers.
  • Meanwhile, as in prior years, the large bulk of all respondents believe they are at least generally technologically prepared for the next five years. However, both groups reported feeling less prepared in 2023 than they did last year, likely as a result of the many changes characterizing the current environment.
  • We also analyzed institutions’ intentions across a number of emerging areas. This year, these included open banking, Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS), cryptocurrency, cannabis banking, and sustainability — all of which we expect to be important frontiers heading into the next few years.
  • As always, an important note is that our findings broadly are meant to be directional, not instructive — meaning, not every institution needs to be leading the way on every front. While it’s important to understand what others are up to, how those insights are applied to each bank and its own strategy will be different.

The Bottom Line

The purpose of this report is to give banks a better understanding of where their peers are today and how they are thinking about things, from baseline capabilities to the hottest pockets of innovation. One thing to note, though, is that it is amazing how things can change, and we should all have a pulse on that, too. The reason we do this report every year is because attitudes and priorities shift — progress is not static by definition. As a result, it is absolutely essential to keep revisiting this exercise on your own and taking stock of how others are adjusting to the environment around them, changing market conditions, new innovations, and any other dynamic that might be relevant.

Download to read the full report.