Why US banks need to step up

Efma feature

12 October 2017

Pete Soraparu, Efma’s regional manager for the USA, explains the current challenges facing banks operating across America and outlines what needs to be done to evolve in the future.

Could you tell me more about your career path?

I spent most of my 42-year business career in the banking industry, combining mortgage lending, corporate affairs and retail banking management positions around customer-centred delivery and experience enhancement.  Over the past 20 years, much of my career has focused on how technology can be a great enabler for banks to create new opportunities for their customers to prosper in a quickly evolving financial world.

What are the key trends in US and Canadian financial services at the moment?

I see three key trends. First, continued consolidation at the high end of the provider market (with renewed Canadian interest and better outcomes in the US market); second, mobile delivery and payments as customer relationship movers; and third, technology integration as an institutional differentiator.

How can US banks better meet the challenges they’re facing at the moment?

US banks must walk the walk of the talk they’ve talked around the customer experience. Very few have effectively and appropriately trained their staff in how to deliver a real customer experience environment. The Wells Fargo debacle should show that simply trying to cross-sell products doesn’t create an excellent experience for banking customers; understanding customer needs and delivering positive solutions against those needs does.

What do you believe the typical North American bank will look like in 2030?

Canadian banks will be significantly larger, with more of a US presence accounting for more of their assets. In the US, there will be a greater divide between very large national and super-regional banks and increasingly larger community banks, as the communities those hyper-customer (community) banks serve continue to grow.  All three of those categories will prosper to the detriment of the smaller end and the middle of the banking market – there will probably be about 2,000 US banks by 2030 (against about 6,000 today).

What can Efma bring to North American financial players?

Efma has the advantage of having successfully facilitated information discourse among financial services providers in somewhat disparate (though increasingly similar) global markets. That positive experience can provide an advantage for North American financial institutions that recognise the differentiating potential of tapping into Efma’s areas of expertise.

Get in touch with Pete at pete@efma.com

Keywords : Bank Products & Services

Geography : USA