Banks face ‘extinction phase’ amid new financial technology

Finance


Ben Hung, regional CEO for Greater China and North Asia at Standard Chartered Bank, which has roots going back more than 150 years, said that one constant in the sector has been what customers seek at a basic level.

“It’s all about how they want to manage their money, tend their money and grow their money and that fundamental need I don’t think has changed,” Hung said during the same Wednesday panel in Hong Kong.

What has, he stressed, is the pace of technological development now necessary to meet those requirements, which he acknowledged can be intimidating.

“It’s about how to address some of these needs through technology in different ways, but equally it can be quite daunting given the uncertainty and speed by which technology happens,” he said.

“It’s all very exciting, very, very daunting,” said Hung, who also serves as his bank’s CEO for retail banking and wealth management.

Bird, meanwhile, said that the pace of investment flows into financial technology suggests an attention-grabbing shift away from incumbents toward new players.

“We take that provocation as very, very real because it’s the economics of what’s happening,” he said.

He said that Citi has hired people from companies such as PayPal and Amazon who possess the “mindset” needed to aid the bank’s transformation.

Also crucial, he said, is for the bank to be where its customers are. That increasingly means social media platforms such as WeChat as well as Instagram and Facebook.

“So we must fintegrate,” he said.



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