Chairman of Pilatus Bank gives a speech concerning customer trust in the banking and fintech industries at Wealth 2.0 conference. In banking and fintech, the most important commodity is “trust”. Ali Sadr, Chairman of Pilatus Bank, believes that it is important to recognize where the banking industry stands relative to other industries on the trust scale.
The automotive industry had a bad year in 2017 with more than 12 million cars being recalled. Despite all the negative headlines generated by the likes of Volkswagen, Toyota and Nisan, the industry still enjoys a strong vote of confidence from the consumers. The 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer revealed that the automotive industry was ranked 3rd on the trust scale, which has given the industry the boost it needed.
Financial Services Sector
Contrarily, the Financial Services sector sits at the bottom of the pyramid, 7th out of 7 on the scale, when it comes to trust. The irony is that the entire banking industry is built on the foundation of trust, but year after year for almost a decade, the financial services sector has been facing a chronic disease when it comes to the level of trust.
Ali Sadr explains that there are two main reasons for this shift. Firstly, the chronic disease of too-big-to-fail wasn’t combated with a cure but rather manifested itself as a side effect, which Sadr refers to as too-big-to-care. Secondly, he believes that the trust factor is directly correlated to the quality of service and safety of capital.
“Banks have a long road ahead”
The truth is that building trust takes longer than it takes to tarnish it; therefore, banks have a long road ahead if they wish to regain customers’ trust. On the other hand, that doesn’t seem to be the case when it comes to larger banks. At the same time, there’s a major shift taking place in the banking sector attributed to the challenger banks.
In the latest 2017 survey by PwC, only 11% of people would consider dealing with an “Online-Only” bank in the next 3 years. Ali Sadr believes that this is where the true challenge lies. He continues, “Trust comes from the high-touch when it comes to money, and safekeeping. In my opinion, there are two factors that build trust in banking, which customers continuously are demanding, “Know Me” and “Empower Me.” In a technical sense, that’s a true combination of high-touch with high-tech. Unfortunately, this combination has so far not been scalable for the bankers and affordable for the clients.”
From High-touch to High-tech
High-touch is the engine of private banking and high-tech is a concept fully embraced by the new challenger banks and fintech. Retail banks fit somewhere in the middle as they are moving away from high touch by closing their branches and moving towards high-tech, whilst pushing people into their online and mobile banking platforms. Ali Sadr says, “It’s a chaotic situation out there for the clients. They are stuck with the large incumbent banks, and they are becoming increasingly frustrated with the quality of service they are receiving.
On the other hand, the challenger banks are trying hard to capture their trust and imaginations, and the sector keeps creating more complex products and services with the hope that robo-advisory somehow will appear as the magical solution.” The Chairman of Pilatus Bank predicts that there is a bright future ahead for banks who have the vision, technology, and agility to combine high-touch with high-tech. He believes that is the winning combination adopted by Pilatus Bank which ultimately will bring banking to its Uber moment for the benefit of the customers.