COVID-19 will accelerate digital transformation: EY

The COVID-19 pandemic will rapidly accelerate the digital transformation of financial services, according to EY.

A survey of over 200 senior managers from across 162 financial services firms found that 87 per cent believed that working from home due to the pandemic will result in firms’ tech transformation developing far faster than they had ever previously predicted.

Almost two thirds (65 per cent) of respondents thought the workplace will change fundamentally post COVID-19, with a further 30 per cent expecting moderate change.

Nearly all (99 per cent) of managers said that they had now overcome the challenges of staff working from home and that all or most of their employees were now working productively and effectively.

Furthermore, the focus on joint action to overcome the challenges of COVID-19 has meant that 88 per cent of financial services firms expected there to be a greater emphasis on climate change after the crisis.

A further 32 per cent said that COVID-19 has been a turning point for environmental action, with over half (56 per cent) saying there will be an industry-wide desire to do more in this space.

Simon Turner, financial services partner at EY, said: “Financial services is unlikely to ever return to the ‘old normal’, and new ways of working - incorporating a far greater degree of technology and flexible working - seem inevitable.

“Technology is expected to develop at a far faster pace than ever forecast, bringing forward years’ worth of tech progress to banks, insurers and asset managers, and if done well, will create a huge cost saving just at a time when firms need it, while improving customers’ digital experiences.”

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