Bijna has established strategic, innovation and complex transformation successes, across the globe, for leading Financial Services firms. Bijna received a felicitation at the House of Lords (UK), at the NRI World Summit and has been recognised as one of the top 50 Visionary Young Leaders in Business, by Henley Business School (2017), one of 35 leading British business women under 35, and has received recognition with nine further honours including the National Diversity Awards, and the Asian Women of Achievement Awards.
What is your perspective on the shifting landscape of banking and financial services? Where do you see the greatest opportunity?
The Bank of the Future looks pretty different to the traditional version of banks, many of us recognize today. We will see, and are already seeing, technological and demographic shifts driving significant changes in our customer’s needs and how they want to interact with us. By 2025, 75% of the global workforce and customer base are likely to be the millennial cohort, most of who will have grown up with the internet and mobile phones.
Simultaneously, the nature of many jobs is changing; just in LBG we have released c.115,000 hours of colleague capacity through enhancing machine learning and leveraging robotics. In the future, people will require different skills to meet the needs of employers as time is released to spend on activities that make a real difference to customers. This is a fundamental shift in core processing vs. new technologies that is much bigger than the financial services industry. It’s a key output of Industry 4.0 – the industrial revolution we are all now part of.
The opportunities lie in improving productivity, influencing the culture of financial services, learning (and teaching) new skills & capabilities, as well as shaping the new landscape. There is also a significant trend in developed economies where some larger incumbents are forming partnerships with technology solutions and FinTechs to create agile and increasingly flexible offerings.
What do you feel is the greatest innovation of 2018?
I’m fascinated by many and have been following their development with excitement – from the L’Oréal wearables that flag sun exposure to help protect against skin cancer to 3D metal printing, artificial embryos, neural networks and many more.
One that is particularly interesting this year is the Babel Fish earbud; this technology (currently offered by Google) provides almost instant translation. Having worked around the world, I’m certain this is something that can have a real impact for employees, customers and the market overall across the Global Financial Services landscape.
The Babel Fish Earbud from Google
Where do you see the future of financial services?
Ten years on from the financial crisis, the world economy has recently returned to robust growth. However, some risks are re-emerging, as are new ones. Despite the biggest technological disruption in history, the data actually tells us the global financial system is actually less interconnected today, than it has ever been.
Global debt has also increased to 250% of global GDP, almost double of what it was pre-crises and global government debt has reached a record $60 trillion. Partially as a result of historically low interest rates, we have seen an increase in borrowing from developing economies such as those in Africa as well as from nonbank lenders, including private-equity, which have emerged as key sources of credit in some area that banks have scaled back lending to.
China is likely to become the largest economy in the World by 2050, with the US in second place and India taking the third place. Together, China and India are estimated to account for 35% of the global economy.
However, the regime of the institutions and policies that accommodate economic growth is fundamental to this trajectory and the financial services landscape will play a significant role in supporting economic and trade development accordingly. If the US manages to maintain steady growth and retain its position as the global powerhouse it is, there could be a significant opportunity to redistribute wealth through ‘inclusive capitalism’ as discussed at Davos earlier this year.
How do you envisage the future of AI and robotics and their applications?
With the cost benefits associated with AI and robotics, their application is starting to impact more broadly through different parts of the global economy.
Today, AI and robotics are largely applied in the broader technology industry and in technology-reliant / driven segments of other industries, such as medicine – primarily to create efficiencies and / or develop new products and services.
Industries such as financial services, manufacturing, and energy are gradually being transitioned through enhanced deployment and implementation of the technology; which in turn enhances economic productivity.
We are also seeing a surge in consumer segments demanding and utilizing, with an increased interest and competency, relevant offerings (such as cloud based technology for personal use.
The revolution is just starting.
Bijna will be speaking in the Power Panel, Thinking ‘Next Generation’ Customer-Centricity at FinTech Connect, 5-6 December, 2018. Sign up for Fintech Connect conference tickets here Use the code FT15 to get 15% off tickets.