Retail Banking 2020: the future of the retail banking industry

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PwC Retail Banking 2020 Overview

Powerful forces are reshaping the banking industry, creating an imperative for change. Banks need to choose what posture they want to adopt - to lead the change, to follow fast, or to manage for the present. Whatever their chosen strategy, leading banks will need to balance execution against 6 critical priorities and have a clear sense of the posture they wish to adopt. However, each of them is important, and success will come from a balanced execution across these priorities – and a balance of tactical initiatives and longer-term programs, all coming together as an integrated whole.

About the survey: Methodology and approach

The key objective of the research was to gauge the opinions of senior banking leaders on the possible future shape of the banking industry around six themes - advanced analytics, customer centricity, open innovation, simplification, optimized distribution & regulatory enterprise integration. A total of 560 completed surveys were achieved with broad C-suite level respondents from global, regional, national and community banks across 17 markets with a turnover of US$50 million plus.

Who we spoke to...

Survey highlights

Customer centricity

61% of bankers say a customer-centric business model is “very important”. Only 17% are “very prepared” for it.


Leading banks will shift from branch dominance to distribution dominance.


If done right, simplification can close over half of the ROE gap.


Talent constraints are the main obstacle cited by almost half of all respondents, rising to 57% for the emerging markets.


Innovation within the banking industry is considered to be important by 87% of respondents. Yet only 11% say their organization is very prepared.


Proactive regulatory management is the top priority cited by banks, with large banks feeling most prepared due to a high level of investment in recent years.

Big Data

Banks will be able to leverage very large internal financial behavioral data sets, social media data along with a richer set of credit history data to formulate more detailed views on credit risk.


Banks will need to be on the cutting edge of technology and see that emerging customer needs and lifestyle demands are engrained in every offering. They need to understand what’s possible, where the latest technology innovations are, what systems can deliver them, and what should be pursued.

Contact us

John Garvey

US & EMEA Banking and Capital Markets Advisory Leader

Tel: +1 (646) 471-2422

Dean Nicolacakis

US FinTech Co-Leader

Tel: +1 (415) 498-7075

Dean Nicolacakis

US FinTech Co-Leader

Tel: +1 (415) 498-7075

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