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SIX IN 10 UK FINANCIAL SERVICES WORKERS FEAR THE AFTERMATH OF BREXIT IS THE SECTOR’S BIGGEST CHALLENGE FOR 2020

Nuxeo Research Highlights the industry’s most pressing challenges, which many say leave their organisation vulnerable to losing customers

 

Six in 10 UK Financial Services (FS) workers fear the aftermath of Brexit will be the single biggest challenge the sector has to face over the next 12 months, according to new research from Content Services firm Nuxeo published today.

Other top 2020 FS industry challenges that emerged from the study included: cybersecurity threats and information or data breaches (36%); physical branches closing down (26%); the burden of increasing regulation (24%); competition from Big Tech firms potentially moving into FS (21%), and competition from new challenger banks (20%).

59% of FS workers in the study felt that these challenges left their organisation vulnerable to losing customers over the next 12 months.

“In 2020, UK financial services firms will not only have to deal with competitive and operational pressures, but they expect that the regulatory and political landscape will impact them as well,” said Chris McLaughlin, chief product and marketing officer, Nuxeo. “The firms that will succeed in this challenging environment will be those who focus on improving the customer experience, delivering innovative, new products and services, and embracing technologies that will modernize their operations in order to make all of this possible.”

 

The key challenges for 2020 identified by UK FS workers are already having an impact on their day-to-day activities as 2019 draws to a close. Brexit is the most impactful, with 69%, closely followed by the cyber security threat (67%) and increased regulation (67%).

 

With so many challenges causing such an impact on FS and the people that work in the sector, it would suggest that banks and other FS firms need to address this with their staff. Yet the research findings show there have been differing levels of communication, depending on the specific challenge.

 

The challenge of increased regulation has been communicated successfully to 72% of respondents, while 69% say the same about the cybersecurity threat. Yet 41% say their organisation has not communicated well about its Brexit plans, 37% about the threat from Big Tech Firms and 36% about the threat from challenger brands.

 

The findings come from a recent Nuxeo research paper – Information, Intelligence & Innovation: How UK Financial Services is shaping up for 2020.

 

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THE INVESTMENT IMPLICATIONS OF CLIMATE RISK – AN INVESTMENT MAN-AGER’S VIEW

In the final release of its three part series on climate risk, leading independent fixed income manager, Cameron Hume, looks at how attitudes to climate risk can be factored into long term investment decisions and whether those investment decisions can be used to drive the direction of travel with a global response to climate risk.

 

It is widely accepted that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions must be decreased in order to avoid a potentially catastrophic increase in global temperature.

 

If we also accept that a global response is required to achieve a global reduction in GHGs, but that countries will act according to their own discretion, then the next piece of information we have is the recognition that companies will face different regulatory and legal regimes depending on which part of the world they operate in.

 

It is a complicated set of factors to consider and it can be tempting to put off any decision making. However, the Financial Stability Board has made it clear that action is required now.

 

The 2017 report by the Taskforce of Climate Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), stated: “The large-scale and long-term nature of the problem makes it uniquely challenging, especially in the context of economic decision making. Accordingly, many organizations incorrectly perceive the implications of climate change to be long term and, therefore, not necessarily relevant to decisions made today.”

 

In a bid to help navigate the difficult process of taking on appropriate exposure to climate risk, the TCFD recommends the implementation of tried and tested methods that financial market participants are already familiar with. Improving disclosure is a key input to supporting better management of climate risk. The TCFD recommend considering climate risk in a framework consisting of Governance, Strategy, Risk Management and Metrics & Targets.

 

For Cameron Hume, Governance means that there is an agreed investment policy that all stakeholders are in agreement with. Strategy should therefore support development of policy and systems which incorporate informed Risk Management. Metrics & Targets must be built into portfolio measures, client reporting and disclosures to bodies such as the PRI.

 

The Cameron Hume Global Fixed Income ESG Fund, launched in 2018, follows the TCFD methodology while selecting issuers judged to manage their ESG risks better than their peers.

 

Chief Investment Officer, Guy Cameron, explains: “In Cameron Hume’s view, a key indicator of an issuer’s sustainability is the quality of its governance and risk management framework, which we know must take into account climate risk.

 

“A company that already has low emissions will be more likely to maintain low emissions in the future than a company with a stated aim of lower emissions but a bad track record of delivering on promises. Even those who reliably commit to a transition plan require access to significant funds, technology or personnel to make such a major shift in operations.

 

“Similarly, as many governments introduce legislation to reduce GHG emissions, inability to achieve the legally mandated targets may weigh on companies even as they transition.

 

“As the likelihood of governments imposing tough targets on emissions differs from country to country, we believe the best way to manage risk is to invest in the companies with the lowest current net emissions, accounting for gross emissions and mitigating factors. Such issuers will likely have the governance framework, risk management capability and strategy in place to allow them to embrace any new rules effectively.

 

“For these reasons, the Cameron Hume Global Fixed Income ESG Fund favours companies with lower net emissions currently, rather than those requiring significant changes.”

 

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AURIGA, PROVIDER OF NEXT-GEN BANKING TECHNOLOGY, OPENS ITS FIRST OFFICES IN SPAIN AND MEXICO

Specialising in omnichannel banking and cybersecurity, the Italian company continues its international expansion with two new offices in Madrid and Mexico

 

Auriga, an Italian company specialising in omnichannel banking solutions, today announced the opening of two new branches in Spain and Mexico, following its international expansion strategy. The subsidiaries, Auriga Iberia and Auriga Latin América, will manage the integration of Lookwise Device Manager (LDM), the cybersecurity solution acquired from S21sec, into Auriga’s portfolio of omnichannel banking solutions. With this milestone, the company now employs 400 professionals.

Auriga’s objective is to become a reference point for financial institutions in the Spanish and Latin American regions. The Latin American office is situated near to Guadalajara, Mexico and represents a real stepping stone towards reaching the local market. The Spanish office is a research and development hub focused on cybersecurity, with the aim of enriching Auriga’s offering and expertise to support banks in their digital transformation path.

These two new openings are in line not only with the acquisition of LDM, but also form part of Auriga’s ongoing strategic partnership programme, which is aimed at consolidating its presence on a global scale. Auriga recently announced strategic alliances with the system integrators Minsait, a company from Indra, and TRSYS.

 

They are also in line with the membership recently signed off with:

  • ATM Security Association, part of the ATMIAnetwork, aimed at bringing manufacturers and their suppliers together with the common goal of establishing vendor independent standards for security solutions within the industry.
  • ATEFI, the Latin American association of operators of electronic transfers of funds and information services aimed at promoting and ensuring the exchange of information among associates, the development and competitiveness of electronic funds transfers and information services in the Latin American financial sector.
  • ECSO(European Cyber Security Organisation), whose main goal is to develop a competitive European cybersecurity ecosystem, to support the protection of the European Digital Single Market with trusted cybersecurity solutions, and to contribute to the advancement of European digital autonomy.

 

Auriga provides omnichannel banking solutions to support its clients in the digital transformation of bank branches, a key area of focus for financial institutions.

“These openings are in line with Auriga’s ongoing investments and current local partnerships aimed at promoting our solutions in the Spanish and Latin American markets”, explains Vincenzo Fiore, CEO, Auriga. “The current pandemic has highlighted, like never before, the power of technology in helping the financial sector continue to provide excellent service to its customers while ensuring their security. As specialists in omnichannel banking, Auriga wants to assist Spanish and Latin American financial services to make this leap into the branch of the future.”

For years, the company has been one of the key technology providers in Europe for the digital transformation of bank branches. Founded in Italy, 70% of the country’s ATMs are equipped with its WinWebServer (WWS) software. This advanced omnichannel solution enables the efficient integration of various modules into banks’ systems and provides an enhanced customer experience while optimising costs.

 

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