Without a doubt, 2017 has been a rocky year for financial services; with political upheavals, economic uncertainty and planning for numerous regulatory changes coming into effect in 2018.

In 2017, Brexit was the talk of the town, with “uncertainty” a word bouncing around the finance sector. As such, the key focus was on the financial services industry crafting their post-Brexit strategy, namely how to continue having access to both EU and UK markets and in turn catering to their clients’ needs.

According to Brickendon the award-winning global management and technology consultancy, while political events will continue impacting financial services, including Brexit negotiations, next year digitalisation and data will dominate alongside Robotic Process Automation and Blockchain, making larger waves in the sector and paving the way for uncapped growth and innovation.

Financial Services Trends

  1. A Data Future. Access to it, and the ability to mine data, will be central to everything that happens in the future of financial services. Now that the data is loaded, and the toolsets are understood and available, 2018 will see it being used for operations and technology processes.
  2. The Rise of Robots.  Robotic Process Automation (RPA), which uses software robots or ‘bots’ to mimic human activity, has the potential to unlock yet more value by freeing up employees to focus on value-added work – ultimately transforming the way the financial services sector operates. In 2018, we will see how this will impact RegTech, data analytics and ultimately how organisations service their clients. A gamechanger for the industry will be the start of the processes to replace people with robotics and machine learning.
  3. The Reality of Blockchain. The use of the distributed ledger technology will no longer be just hypothetical. The opportunities for financial services who invest in such technology are endless from reducing operational costs to improving efficiency.
  4. Simplifying Digitalisation. Business is becoming more about the user experience. Automated user interfaces can go a long way to helping this and embracing digitalisation is key in making it happen. The upcoming year will be all about the simplification of processes and digitalisation.
  5. The Changing Political Climate. Brexit will remain a buzzword and continue to make headlines. As more details of the UK’s departure from the EU become clear, we will see banks and institutions adapting accordingly. Many will have to keep a close eye on their strategy if they are to survive and thrive in 2018.
  6. Banking Regulations. 2018 will be a turning point for financial regulation. Alongside General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II), the requirements for central clearing and the second Payments Services Directive (PSD2) will force significant changes to the banking environment, with the innovators and disrupters emerging as the winners.
  7. FinTech Collaboration: One of the largest technology shakeups in banking in recent years has been the use of advanced data analytics techniques to catch rogue trading activities within banks. In 2018, banks will have to decide whether to service clients in house or through a third party to stay competitive.