The Thought Leader's Voice Podcast

A Digital Frontier for Sustainable Finance

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As Global Head of Capgemini Research Institute for Financial Services, Elias Ghanem is no stranger to the financial landscape. As a successful change agent with a history of leading emerging market entry in high-growth B2B and B2C environments, Elias has advanced expertise in managing customer acquisition and engagement programs through a multi-channel approach. He has also led well-known and respected Capgemini flagship thought leadership publications that offer in-depth analysis, trends, and industry insights across financial services.  

In his time at Capgemini, Elias has been pivotal in driving Fintech growth for the global powerhouse, building bridges between Capgemini clients and the wider Fintech ecosystem. As an active angel investor within the Fintech sector, he has invested in companies that disrupt the traditional payment landscape and solve major pain points such as “cash on delivery”, cross-border remittances, and alternative payments to cash and cards, like Bitcoin. 

Tune into the, The Thought Leaders’ Voice podcast as Elias shares his expertise on ensuring sustainable performance in the finance sector and on understanding the role of financial technologies. 

Key Takeaways

  • What is the most critical issue that needs to be addressed as companies shift towards sustainable financial services?  
  • There is inherent short-termism in finance, especially in financial markets, which represents an obstacle to a long-term outlook in economic decision-making, including when it comes to investments that are essential for sustainability. How can the industry combat this? 
  • How can businesses consider ESG requirements and other risk factors while encouraging growth?  

Full Transcript of Podcast with Elias Ghanem

Rachael: As Global Head of Capgemini Research Institute for Financial Services, our latest guest is no stranger to the financial landscape. Elias is a senior executive with an entrepreneurial drive and a strong customer experience focus; with a wealth of experience in wealth management, retail payments, e-payments, FinTech, start-up creation, and strategic partnerships. As a successful change agent with a history of leading emerging market entry both in high-growth B2B and B2C environments, Elias has advanced expertise in managing customer acquisition and engagement programs through a multi-channel approach. He has also led well-known and respected Capgemini flagship thought leadership publications that offer in-depth analysis, trends, and industry insights across financial services. These include the World InsurTech Report, World Payment Report, World FinTech Report, and many more.

In his time at Capgemini, Elias has been pivotal in driving Fintech growth for the global powerhouse, building bridges between Capgemini clients and the wider Fintech ecosystem. As an active angel investor within the Fintech sector, he has invested in companies that disrupt the traditional payment landscape and solve major pain points such as “cash on delivery”, cross-border remittances, and alternative payments to cash and cards, like Bitcoin.

Welcome, Elias. We’re delighted you can join us today on the Thought Leaders Voice to share your expertise on the three T’s of financial services. Today, we’re talking about the challenges of building trust, more sustainable relationships and flows of wealth across the financial sector and beyond. Thank you for joining us. A warm welcome.

Elias: Thank you for having me with you today.

Rachael: So if we start off, customers is a key focus in terms of the three Ts which we believe are the future of financial services. Customers fall under the E, the S, and the G of Environmental, Social and Governance, they represent a number of the key UN SDGs. How are firms approaching consumer duty in the context of wider sustainability initiatives? And how does a better customer experience with financial providers align with both sustainability and growth goals?

Elias: And of course, this is the hundred million dollars question, and how do we merge them all together because it’s across all the industry and all the geography? But let’s try to put some caveat here. Clearly, I would say there is two aspects. One is the geographies: North America, Europe, Asia. The second criteria is age: different people behave differently toward ESG. And the third for me would be is the role of the regulator in all of that. Let’s start by Europe and think of the rest of the world, in Europe, across Europe and in the UK, the regulators are extremely involved into the ESG agenda, putting in from rules to sensibilisation, to awareness, to mandates, to tracking to this and that, sometimes going to the extreme. But it’s important, I think, to make the effect, and the effect is building up, and thus the adoption is much bigger.

When we go to the US, what I’m observing much more is it’s more of a generational aspect. Younger population logically are way more aware interested and sometimes activist when it comes to this topic of ESG. In Asia, I would say it’s similar from an age perspective, younger population. In Australia, in Southeast Asia, you could see the younger population extremely active.

Now, if I take it between also financial services, a very broad one, you have banks and insurance and within banks you have the retail, the payment and the wealth. So let me start on the banking side. When you talk to retail, you could see it, it’s all over the place from a communication perspective. Not a single bank today is not putting somewhere in their communication, the importance of ESG. Same applies to the payment industry. Same apply to the wealths. So from a communication perspective, it is there and it has to be right. You cannot be doing that. The danger is between facts and greenwashing. And all the large banks are starting to get reminded that greenwashing is not what we are asking them to do.

When it comes to insurance overall is there is an adoption. On the property and casualty insurance, this is the insurance of everyday, and clearly flooding here, wildfires there, high temperature there is automatically creating an impact on the environmental topic.

And last I’m going to say from a social perspective, the inclusiveness of the agenda, the presence of women across all the positions into the organization at all levels is a reality. So from a social perspective, it is being implemented. So I would say on a 1-10, where are we? 10 being we are all hundred percent ESG, I think we are a 5+, 6 overall, and of course, the nuance makes the difference across where we are.

Rachael: Wow, excellent. That really puts it into perspective. And it is interesting to see those comparisons across different types of financial services organizations and indeed across different geographies where they’ve got to with regulation and the effects that that’s having on the industry. You hit on a very important point in terms of communication; clear, transparent, and truthful communication around sustainability and ESG initiatives is an absolute imperative. And firms will be falling behind if they’re not doing so.

And we’re very much seeing different areas of financial services faring better than others in those respects. And a huge part of that is knowing your customer, both internally, as you mentioned, in the makeup of the organization, looking at diversity, equity and inclusion, and representation, which is a huge part of the SDGs and a huge part of wider sustainability initiatives that often gets forgotten.

But also on the customer side, whether that’s retail or institutional, just knowing your customer is no longer enough. Actually, you need to have a deep understanding of the customer, make sure that they’re represented effectively and in communications that you’re actually providing the right kind of information and truthful two-way communication, but also that products and services are developed and personalized alongside and for customers who are demanding a better, more seamless experience, they’re demanding more sustainable products and services and then demanding more from the providers that they choose to work with.

The trust really needs to be built and maintained , particularly when banks and Fintechs alike are failing and that’s very much in the media at the moment and pervading customers’ minds. An area of financial services where you’re really seeing this play out is in wealth management. Indeed you flagged in last year’s global wealth report that customer relationships is a really make or break part of the puzzle for wealth managers and for really getting to grips for the high net worth audience.

Can you tell us a little bit more about the different nuances involved in that and how you have seen that situation shift over the past year with the latest version of the report?

Elias: Rachael, interesting that you are mentioning the last year report. And if you remember last year, life was beautiful at the time. We published the World Wealth Report 2022; we were just out of COVID, life was wonderful; everybody was happy, there was not yet a war between Ukraine and Russia, there was no geopolitical complexity, there was no inflation, and life was fantastic: and thus at the time, last year, trust was important.

Let’s take it, and bring it to today. And a few weeks back, we released the World Wealth Report 2023, and the context is quite different. Maybe two numbers that we keep in mind as we were entering this year, the Wealth Report 2023; the first number, which is an astonishing one, -363.6% of year-on-year decline in the high-net-worth individual wealth in 2022, and that is versus the year before, mainly due to the market volatility, right.

Equity, which was the king or the queen of the wealth industry went down, all the stock market went down. Major shift into the mindset from growth to value and major shift from what can get me up to what can keep me in the right place. So that’s the perception of the market. And thus when that happens, trust becomes essential.

The second number that I think very, very, very important to have in mind is only 23% of the high-net-worth individuals reported returns on the ESG-linked investment higher to non-ESG assets. So what does it mean that only a quarter is telling us, you know what, I’m making good money with ESG, and thus if I link it with the point before, I will continue being there? When things are not as stable and as growing on their own as they were before, every high net-worth individuals is doing trade-offs, and the major trade-off, if I link that to the ESG conversation we’re having before is with a high net-worth individuals continue to invest in ESG- linked assets as he was doing before when things were doing well? Probably not.

So everyone is reconsidering their investment strategy and the role of the relationship manager becomes essential to know where am I in my strategy, what age I am at with my family, my context, and my interest in investing in ESG or in highly profitable assets?

Rachael: That’s really interesting. And it’s also worrying and in that obviously there’s all these factors geopolitical inflation, economic downturn, that as we suspected are starting to cause a hit on investment and on the sustainability initiative, the sustainability investment that has been growing, you’re starting to see that have a knock-on effect.

It’s interesting that you highlight the relationship manager’s responsibility there in terms of communicating the right ways to invest in these times of uncertainty but also to bring it back to the sustainability agenda. I mean, you can argue that it’s a bit chicken and egg, but at the end of the day there’s not going to be anything to invest in or any wealth to be had if the planet fails. I think it’s quite interesting to see where their responsibility lies and perhaps the pressure, the onus on relationship managers in getting that conversation right. And I’m being informed, so again, that’s where it goes back to the trust being critical, as you mentioned.

How do you find that firms are all balancing that, looking at both the sustainability imperative and the need to provide returns for clients?

Elias: Let me start with a data point that we’re also having in mind in what’s going on through the mind of the relationship manager and the wealth management. When we asked the high net worth individuals, we engage with more than 3,000 high-net-worth individuals every year to understand where they are, 67% of them told us this year that preserving wealth is their key focus in the year to come. 67%. So it’s not about growth; it’s about holding the position.

So now if you are a wealth management firm, you have to modify completely the way you do your portfolio, the channels, the engagement, and the interactions with your clients. And when we engage with the wealth management companies, we ask them, what are your objectives going forward? And they said, really three elements: reduce cost of operation, reduce customer churn, make sure that we retain and the assets don’t go somewhere else. And all the confidence or the crisis of confidence that we are going through with major banks moving ownership over the weekend is an important element in to maintain the trust. So reduce operational costs, reduce customer churn, and finally maximize profitability by being close to the customer, giving them what they are looking for while looking to new sectors and the new sectors being the affluent segments.

Where does ESG fit in all that? It is an asset that everybody has in mind. We always track the awareness of ESG and that’s it; it’s on everybody’s mind. The adoption fell behind. And thus, the challenge for the wealth management firms in 2023 onward is to get back into the customer mind and telling them that truly ESG-linked assets are worth the investment. The biggest challenge the world truly, the ESG linked in terms of tracking the maturity of the asset, the rating of the asset, and being able to prove that the rating that we are giving to an ESG-linked asset is truly what we are telling them about it. So the whole greenwashing feeling disappears as we go.

Rachael: That’s incredibly important and no mean feat either in proving that those funds are fit for purpose, proving the sustainability of that investment without greenwashing or without in any way being seen to be greenwashing; there would be a large amount of nervousness on behalf of various asset managers and in terms of labelling those funds to make sure that those ratings are correct, which again, comes down to the fact-checking, the transparency and the better communication piece.

So again, going back to trust, having that strong relationship with customers, but also sort of knowing what you’re talking about, knowing that you can back it up with facts. It’s very interesting to see how things have moved on and instead of gearing everything up for growth, trying to maintain in these times of uncertainty, but also trying to bring that sustainability conversation back. I wonder if there are any learnings from other areas of financial services here that could be taken in terms of communication and in terms of linking back to sustainability?

Certainly, from the research that we’ve done, we’ve found that sections of peers across subsectors of financial services are quite different in terms of how well they’re doing on the sustainability front. Typically, asset managers and investment banks have been seen as leading the way, whereas regulated advice has been falling behind, and only 23% of industry peers felt that they were actually doing enough in terms of sustainability. So there’s a real gap there in terms of communication. And I mean really putting a label on the work that’s being done.

Is it realistic to expect that this approach, that obviously this is what high net worth individuals are saying that they want to focus on maintaining wealth, but also such a small percentage are saying that they’re actually getting the right returns from sustainable investments? So is it realistic to expect people to be investing in sustainable initiatives? We know it’s front of mind, but is action actually following talk?

Elias: I think there is, for me, it’s a combination of two things, is the context that we are living in, high in stable context and stress is all over the place. So when stress happens at all levels into wealth, each one of us is more concerned on reducing the horizon, right. And yes, I’d love to save the planet, but I need to save my head before. So for me that’s one situation is the time frame.

But I think for me, the second dimension and I’m way more optimistic on the second dimension is the impact. We are all seeing in our daily life the impact. If you are in Europe, which is a more temperate area, it’s easier, we see less the impact. But if you go on the west coast of the US, if you go in Asia, if you go in Australia, if you go in Africa, you are starting to see the impact of the climate change and we are unfortunately entering now in summer into the season where we will have on the news, the first damage would be on 10 minutes will be on wild fires and the next 10 minutes will be on flooding and that will happen unfortunately due to all this population. And all that will increase the impact on every population.

So while in the short term people are constrained by the local environment and the need to make sure that they can put enough fuel in their car because fuel is going through the roof, on the other, they know that they must make a difference and at all level. And now and that’s, I would say, for you and I. But if we talk about our children, our children are completely activist into this topic. And sometimes a bit too much, but they really want to make a major change. And this population will be at forcing all financial services actors to be extremely aware, engage, involve into true ESG, and I say true ESG rather just marketing ESG.

Rachael: Yes. And that generational shift also in terms of them coming into being high net worth individuals and being in a position to make those investments, they’re going to be voting with their feet and choosing those providers and wealth managers and the funds that they know are actually acting in the planet’s best interests and actually doing what they say they will. So it’ll be interesting in a year’s time to see how things have shifted again in terms of the overall wealth picture and where investment priorities will lie.

One of the things you mentioned that I found interesting is along with the pressures of reducing customer churn and ensuring that differentiation against the competition, you mentioned about reducing costs and increasingly technology is a way to do that,  there seems to be this battle across financial services between the traditional providers who are lumbered with legacy systems and infrastructure that’s not necessarily fit for purpose and copious amounts of office space, for example, versus the up and coming Fintech’s who haven’t got the same overheads, they’ve got those direct relationships with customers, they’ve got the technology for the speed and ease of payments and other transactions.

And some of the research that you were doing way back sort of 2-3 years ago was looking at how these different providers are competing and how they’re working together. And you saw some emerging interesting relationships between Fintech’s and tech companies and traditional financial services providers, either partnering up or the big financial services firms buying specific Fintech’s or starting up ones of their own. How has that situation changed over the past few years? Because I think this would have quite significant implications on the sustainability side, but also in terms of who’s actually winning the share of wallet and who’s winning those customers when everything’s front of mind?

Elias: Look, if I backtrack the last ten years, I think the financial service ecosystem, the traditional players went into three phases plus one now. So the three phases were at the beginning, I don’t care, right: I’m too big to fall, I’m too important. Who cares about Fintech, these people that makes noise, that are run by people that are in their 20s, that only live on funding. That was the first situation.

The second one was denial: you know, I don’t need them. I’m still big, strong, solid, beautiful, and I can do it. So the Fintech at this time, we’re starting to build the presence and share of wallet, right, we are not anymore talking about hundreds of thousand of customer, we’re talking of million of customers. Revolut has more than 20 million of customers.

Then that brought us to the surface; after denial was collaboration. And collaboration was about, look guys, clearly, the new players have a better last mile delivery experience. Every single bank tried try to compete with the last mile, the app, the aggregation of services, the gamification and more and less nobody succeeded, and while the entire Fintech ecosystem made it very well. And anybody would have thought that this collaboration and then the banks moved into that case, into the banking as a service payment, as a service wealth, as a service where we provide service to the other new age player and they wouldn’t run with it.

And now we entered in a forth phase that nobody was expecting, which I tend to call the “Black Friday of Fintech,” where valuation are going down, cash is going short, fundraising is a struggle, and running a Fintech that is not profitable but is heavy cash burner to maintain the market share is becoming difficult, and that’s where banks are, I would say, tend to now covered the circle and saying, hey, I did not care about you yesterday, now I do care about you, but I will buy you. So either I remove you from the game or I learn from you as we go.

So from ignorance or ‘I don’t care’ to denial to collaboration, now it’s the acquisition time. And that applied to all the segments. Of course, the one that is more relevant is the payment. But if we look into wealth, this is the opportunity for all traditional players to build their sustainability agenda, their scoring, their rating, their education, their engagement by leveraging the wealth tech ecosystem that is quite broad, rich and stable, and that could enable the wealth management firms to have a better experience for their high net worth individuals.

Rachael: That’s a very real opportunity, isn’t it? And as well, when you consider, as we were talking earlier about the generational shift, as the next generation is gathering wealth, the new generation of clients, they’re going to be the kind of services that are expected, never mind demanded. So there’s an opportunity to get ahead now or fall behind very, very quickly.

Are you seeing any interesting examples of that sort of emerging at the at the moment on that on the wealth side?

Elias: So one thing that you are observing a lot on the wealth side is every single large player now is building their rating, their scoring, their tracking at all a scope, scope 1, 2 and 3, and they are not able to do it alone. There is not a single large wealth management firm that is able to build their whole sustainability ecosystem on their own, and they are doing it significantly with several wealth stake that are in the market. And I would tend to say not only they are building their sustainability agenda, but they are building their data agenda.

And today, to link it with what you are seeing at the beginning, knowing your customer, not only from a risk profile, not only from an ESG profile, which is now has become also mandatory on an ESG evaluation, but it’s also know your customer from a customer behavior profile. Where the payment industry is quite good into it, now, the retail and the wealth is stepping in to be able to better understand their customers.

And if I link that with one of the topic that you mentioned earlier on, in terms of the affluent population, the mass affluent and the affluent, at Capgemini, we referred to the high net worth individuals, anybody that has an available wealth of a million and above, and an affluent is below 1 million down to 250 and then you have the mass affluent. Clearly, to approach the affluent segment, we mentioned quite a lot in our report; you need to have the right data updated, the right channels and the right information personalized to my behavior. It’s only if you are working with the wealth tech ecosystem that you are able to deliver the service that I’m expecting.

Rachael: Yeah, absolutely. That’s about behavioral data becomes critical. And it’s as we were saying at the beginning, knowing your customer isn’t enough, you actually need that in-depth behavioral data, you need that in-depth overview of who your customer really is and those different touchpoints. And I see you mentioned earlier, the Fintech’s tend to be the ones who are adept at that kind of process, that kind of gathering the right kind of data at the right time, and then being able to communicate with customers effectively as a result.

So it would be really interesting to see those sorts of models playing out across other more traditional providers, and particularly in the wealth space, that would be one to watch. But again, it’s another opportunity, as you say, to really get to grips with the right kind of data and the right kind of customer experience.

Are there any other emerging trends that you’re seeing? I know it’s a very broad question. But either specifically in wealth management, but also in these sort of Fintech banking relationships, are there any exciting new nuggets that you can share with us from the research that you’ve been doing?

Elias: Oh, there are so many insights, because as we go across all the industries in banking and insurance. But the two that comes top of my mind is that we going to say zoom into the insurance side and then zoom into the payment side. On the insurance side is the mobility agenda. We recently released to the World Property and Casualty report, is focusing on the evolution from insuring my car to protecting my mobility.

Anyone, you and I in an urban environment we don’t take cars anymore, right. To go from A to B, there are way, way, way many, many ways that need to be that we could use before having to take a car. All these means need to be insured, especially if we are not talking about myself, but myself, my wife, my children, and so on. And I need to make sure that everybody is protected. So the mobility agenda, involve bankers, involve insurer, involve mobility players, involve regulators, involve car manufacturers, and all of that is creating a new ecosystem that needs to be orchestrated. And of course, financial services is at the heart of that.

The second one that for me, if I shift now under the payments side, there are two elements that are very, very, very dominant and one having a consequence on the other. The first one is what we call direct-to-consumer. More and more, large brands, the Nike of the world or the Uber of the world, by the way, are building an end-to-end experience where “I can do everything” on their own platform, being physical or digital, being walking to store or just doing that digital, I need to be able to engage with my provider not only to buy the sneakers, but also to have a lease plan for changing sneakers every sometimes or to build in training exercises, or if I move to the mobility like Uber is also financing my car if I’m a driver and so on.

And all that is happening not anymore with a banker partner where I leave the merchant side and I go to the bank or the insurer, but is completely embedded, transparent, invisible and frictionless into the brand website. We call it direct to consumer. That’s the major trend. The consequence of this trend is the major evolution that we are seeing into the payment industry, where banks are lagging behind in being able to deliver this experience to the brands.

And we are seeing the new players in payment, agents Stripe, Square, PayPal are taking the upper hand when they go to large merchants and offer them a physical and a digital payment solutions. Also, we are seeing a new payment schemes or a new payment solution, instant payment, cross-border payment, the whole new regulations called ISO-20022. A lot of changes are happening into the payment industry and banks are struggling to lead the game.

As such, we are seeing several large banks as well as middle and small, but large banks, starting to let go their payment business either by selling it to a large player to a Worldline of the world or doing joint ventures. A few weeks back, a tier one banks in France called Crédit Agricole, this announced a joint venture with Worldline and they were having Worldline probably in competition with many other players, but doing a joint venture was to align with 51% to Worldline, 49% to Crédit Agricole, where the payment business is now operated by the third party.

So long story short, is we are seeing a transfer of value from a completely run business within the payment banking provider to a more broad scope with collaboration or even transfer of value to the new players. The PayTech is the industry that is moving the fastest because it touched everybody in a way, and I can’t finish without talking about Apple. That not only have Apple Pay, not only have the whole wallet that is becoming a reality now issues card in the US, also now have now 4+% interest rate account in the US and is able to collect more than $1,000,000,000 in less than a week. Apple is becoming a large PayTech in our industry.

Rachael: It’s fascinating, isn’t it, just to see how quickly things have moved in the payments industry, just over the past year, never mind the past 2-5 years. And it’s that kind of in line with a couple of other trends that we’re seeing across other sectors as well, and that looking at the customer as a whole person in context of their family and where they live, their behaviors and something that you’re seeing in health care, for example. And again, Apple, you’ve got Apple watches, you’ve got wearable technology, heart monitors and diabetes tracking, other sort of aspects for overall health and well-being and on protecting mobility, as you were mentioning, for your insurance report.

But it’s all coming together. Customers are expecting to have everything in one place and to have those seamless experiences. But also organizations are having to get to know their customers on a far deeper level than before, taking into account not just their financial situation but their family situation, where they are geographically, what their behaviors are. As you were saying, the kind of stores that they go into, whether they buy new sneakers every year. And that’s really interesting seeing where they all converge; it’s starting to bring different sectors together, but be powered by Fintechs or financial services institutions. And that’s where the agile Fintechs have got that edge.

Elias: Rachael, if I may interrupt you here, one thing that’s for me is underneath all that is you and I now are willing to share data, right. There have been major shift. I’m willing to give my data to my providers if I get the benefit out of it. And clearly, COVID has accelerated the process of the non-face-to-face digitalization, the digital payment and so on, that’s a given. But now people got used to be rewarded for the data they share; and as such the financial ecosystem is expected to be personalized, it’s expected to tell me what I want, when I want it, how I want it, to the channel I want it. And the only way to do that is I’ll give you some of my data, you give me what I need for.

And that is the major party can shift from data privacy to data benefits, and from there, of course, with all the protection of what can be shared, cannot be shared. But that’s the inflection point of being able to, by knowing the customer, giving them what they are specifically looking for at a certain time and a certain time in their journey, in their geography and so on and so forth.


Do you think there’s a concern on the flip side of that that people got used to sharing data if they get what they need in return, but are reluctant to share data if they don’t perceive that they’re going to get what they need in return? And again, sort of when there’s times of a lower trust across the marketplace, do you see that being a significant concern?

Elias: I do see it as in somewhere in my mind, right? Everybody is concerned today from the banking sector. But let’s be realistic. The bank run, remained and will remain probably extremely limited, to few actors where there is a major concern. You and I, will still have our money in the bank and we will probably keep it in the bank. And by the way, us, our parents, our children, everybody’s keeping their money there.

There is a moment of today of stress, of emotional stress when we see on Friday that ownership is different from Monday in some banks of some countries. But that’s limited in nature. What I’m seeing that is becoming very important is the cybersecurity concern. And after the geopolitical crises, after the inflation crises, after the sanitary crisis, we see one of the major trend is the next one is the cybersecurity concern, the cyber security crises.

Because we are all connected, our data is available all over the place; how will the regulators and private sector who owns our data and our money protect us is the next expectation. And if we want to see the same story, but in the glass half-full rather than half empty, half empty being cybersecurity, half-full will be the evolution from open banking to open finance, where open banking got us where we are today. Because my behavior at X, Y, Z, I am rewarded 1,2, 3. And that’s straightforward. And thanks to that, many new players came to play. This is an open banking.

Open finance is an evolution to open insurance, me being rewarded on my premiums depending on my behavior. But it also brings me to open finance where my relationship is completely embedded with my provider of a service rather than with my bank, right, back direct to consumer. The evolution from open banking to open finance will accelerate or decelerate depending on the risk of cybersecurity and privacy concerns that we are in and we might be in in the coming months.

Rachael: Yeah, that’s really important and it would be fascinating to see how that plays out. I think even before we had concerns around banks failing in recent months, we did a survey that we first did at two, two and a half years ago looking at trust with financial providers of different kinds but with a focus on retail banking and trust was pretty high a couple of years ago.

As you said, everything was rosy then and things were looking good, they’ve been well looked after during all the COVID lockdowns and sentiment was pretty strong. But cybersecurity concerns, data concerns pervaded and they’re even higher now. So when we last did a pulse version of the survey a couple of months ago, it was one of the most significant concerns flagged along with communication and actually a willingness to switch provider based on better more personalized communication which brings it back round to your original point about the crucial nature of communication across financial services with their customers.

So I think the trust element seemed to come into the communication point and the relationship there and the cybersecurity and the data concerns which are still front of mind for so many customers. It would be interesting again to see how that changes. We’re keeping a track of it regularly to gauge sentiment and see what people’s responses are. But it’d be very interesting to see what comes out in net in each of your key world reports as well specific to financial services sectors. Well, I think we could…

Elias: On this, I was to put a number here because I think it’s important also. In our Wealth Report that we just released, 44% is a big number, 44% of the high net worth individuals are seeing inefficient, slow and subpar service is influencing them to switch wealth management firms. Almost one of two is saying because today ‘I am not served as I deserve, I am looking somewhere else’. From looking somewhere else to shifting somewhere else, there’s always a gap, but 44% is quite a big number.

Rachael: Yes, absolutely. And we had similar numbers. I think it was something like 62% were saying that they’d be happy to shift if they had a better experience and better communication. So as we said earlier, people are going to vote with their feet, and firms really risk missing out if they don’t do something about it.

I think that’s a really nice note to end on. It’s, you can look at it glass half-full as an opportunity and a chance to get ahead and you can look at it as glass half empty in that there’s a lot of work to be done and you don’t want to miss the boat. So thank you so much for joining us today and sharing all your insights. I really could talk to you for a long time and go through all of these elements in-depth and perhaps we will get a chance to speak again about some of the specific topics as you release further reports and as we gather some more research as well.

Elias: Rachael,thank you so much for having me with you today and having such a lovely and interesting chat on where is the banking industry evolving from banking and insurance side. Thank you so much.

Rachael: Thank you. Really appreciate it.

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