by Kristin Moyer | January 20, 2012 | 2 Comments
Contributed by David Furlonger
Today we conducted our Euro Crisis Webinar. 416 participants were surveyed about:
- Whether their enterprise had plans in place to deal with a worsened euro crisis
- Whether the euro crisis has impacted their IT budget
- Whether the euro crisis would influence investments in innovation
Results of the polling revealed that 50% of respondents covering all industries have no contingency plans in place to manage a worsened euro crisis. We urge clients to better prepare themselves via accessing existing research available on http://www.gartner.com/ and setting alerts for upcoming research using the search term “euro crisis”.
Existing published research includes:
Peter Redshaw Jan 18th: Euro Crisis and the Threat to Outsourcing
Andrea DiMaio Jan 18th:Examine Six Risk Dimensions of IT Preparedness for the Euro Crisis
Alistair Newton Jan 16th: Expect the Euro Crisis to Adversely Affect Payment Systems and Industry Supply Chains
Keith Harrison Jan 13th: Euro Crisis: Issues and Recommendations for Electric Utility IT Functions
Mim Burt Jan 11th: How Retail CIOs Should Respond to the Unfolding Euro Crisis
Mark Raskino Dec 29th: Euro Crisis: Key Questions CEOs and CIOs Should Ask Each Other
Stessa Cohen Dec 27th: Euro Crisis Offers Banks Opportunity to Revise Social Media Strategies to Engage Customers and Innovate
Dave Aron Dec 23rd: Ensure Your IT Strategy Is Ready for a Euro Crisis
Andrea Di Maio Dec 22nd: What the Euro Crisis Means for Government IT
David Furlonger Dec 20th: The Euro Crisis: Four Scenarios and How CIOs Can Prepare for Them
David Schehr Dec 20th: The Euro Crisis Will Mean More and Different Customers for Wealth Managers
David Furlonger Dec 6th: CIOs Should Address the Impacts of the Euro Crisis on Their Enterprises Now
David Furlonger Oct 1st 2010: The European Crisis and Market Impact: Situation Remains Dire
David Furlonger Apr 17th 2009: The Financial Market Crisis: Storm Clouds Over the Euro
We also asked webinar participants about their IT investment plans:
- 52% of respondents believe IT budgets will remain unchanged
- 15% expect an increase
- 9% expect a decrease of <5%
- 25% expect a decrease of >5% in their IT budgets
Clients should watch for forthcoming research from analyst Kurt Potter: Actions to Fight Cost Optimization Fatigue during the Euro Crisis, for additional guidance on how to work through reduced IT budget scenarios
Lastly, we also asked webinar participants about their views on how the euro crisis will impact investments in research and development and discretionary spending on innovation:
- 17% revealed that discretionary spending would increase
- 69% suggested there would be no change
- 14% voted that discretionary spending investments would be cut to zero
Those clients who expect no change in their innovation spending patterns or who anticipate a cut can gain further insight into the importance of maintain an innovation focus during crisis by reviewing an upcoming note from David Furlonger: Euro Crisis Innovation Remains Critical to Survival and Growth
We thank everyone for their participation today and welcome client enquiry and continued interaction on this important subject. An archive of today’s material can be found on the Gartner Webinar website.
Category: banking CIO Customer euro Executive Decisions insurance operations payments securities social networking twitter Uncategorized Tags: banking, banking and investment services, Basel II, cio, cost containment, customer communication, customer service, customer trust, financial crisis, financial services, financial services restructuring, innovation, insurance, IT, market crisis, Operational risk, regulation, regulatory compliance, restructuring, risk management, scenario planning
by Kristin Moyer | January 10, 2012 | Comments Off
Contributed by David Furlonger [ Register Now For January 19th webinar: Euro Crisis Webinar ]
An interesting article appeared on Reuters yesterday: Financial repression is here and may be helpful.
It discusses and supports the potential for greater control over the financial markets by governments, including a continuation of the current schemes that print more money for central banks to lend to banks who then buy more “risk free” government debt. Throw in a little inflation and the long-term debt load depreciates. Merkel is calling for more money for Greece and I note that the US debt ceiling has been nearly reached – again. (Where did that last U$1tn get spent anyway..?) The suggested alternative to financial repression via regulation is considered far worse. But is it?
Admittedly austerity packages don’t help either and are creating popular unrest at levels considered worrying enough for several commentators to point to previous historical conditions that led to bloodshed. Nevertheless, structural reform doesn’t even seem to be on the agenda, and certainly lacks political will.
In fact, the most recent Economist leader hinted rather as political posturing and included the repressive/protectionist impact of:
- The imposition of the Tobin tax on financial transactions (suppressing proprietary trading),
- Forcing houses that do clearing & settlement of derivatives that are denominated in euros to be located in eurozone,
- Forcing OTC derivatives to move to exchange-traded instruments
While maintaining market order, curbing greed and improving terrible risk management is important, protectionism and unnecessry regulation will only introduce artificial subsidies. Financial institutions will surely be wise to this as the costs of managing red tape increase eating further into profit margins. The euro crisis and political/regulatory meddling will therefore likely encourage Asian markets to be more aggressive with strategies to evolve their own platforms and tempt firms to move east.
Regardless of Europe 2020, a 2010 European Commission report highlighted more than 330 trade restrictions that included cross border challenges such as tariff increases, licensing requirements etc, as well as internal restrictions such as certification schemes, buy-national policies etc. A worsening euro situation leading to a meltdown or default scenario will only make matters worse: The Euro Crisis: Four Scenarios and How CIOs Can Prepare for Them, and likely bring about yet more “repression.”
Perhaps the most immediate form of any financial repression will involve protectionist initiatives designed to “protect” local jobs. This has two implications for CIOs:
- General enterprise HR sourcing and labour/talent mobility
- Ability to outsource
This will require CIOs to perform a risk analysis/containment and draw up contingency plans for all outsourcing contracts. Such planning will enable CIOs to adapt outsourcing strategies as needed. In the current crisis, these plans need regular review. The key question here is to ask: what contractual contingency has been taken in the event of a significant change to the business model of the firm due to meltdown or euro break-up?
CIOs should carefully consider their longer-term HR plans in terms of location of critical talent, training mechanisms, long-lining business support and the specific contractual requirements for IT staff and their jobs. Flexibility is key, as is increasing the institutional knowledge of non-eu locations, working practices and culture.
In terms of the ability to outsource, corporations and government departments have been under pressure in the press and from unions to reconsider outsourcing while simultaneously looking to make local redundancies in an effort to cut costs: Backlash leads Birmingham City Council to reconsider offshoring IT-jobs and Department for Work and Pensions staff begin industrial action. CIOs need to have in place communication and media management plans to address any public backlash from operational changes.
CIOs should also note that repression may not be overt. They need to prepare for additional administrative requirements, the impact of subsidies on ROI and potentially more foreign exchange rate manipulation that will impact the costs of products and services. Note the last quarter’s Swiss moves in this regard: Swiss Franc Protectionism. Such protectionism will likely not occur as “one-off’s” at the moment annual budgets are set. This means CIOs will require financial flexibility from CFOs as part of ongoing project commitments.
Loading companies with more red tape will in the end just be counterproductive for all of Europe, especially at this moment of econommic malaise. However, CIOs must prepare for more protectionism, whether overt or hidden under the banner of market stabilization.
Remember to read our latest research:
CIOs Should Address the Impacts of the Euro Crisis on Their Enterprises Now
The Euro Crisis: Four Scenarios and How CIOs Can Prepare for Them
Ensure Your IT Strategy Is Ready for a Euro Crisis
Euro Crisis: Key Questions CEOs and CIOs Should Ask Each Other
What the Euro Crisis Means for Government IT
Euro Crisis Offers Banks Opportunity to Revise Social Media Strategies to Engage Customers and Innovate
The Euro Crisis Will Mean More and Different Customers for Wealth Managers
And remember to diarise our January 19th webinar on this topic: Euro Crisis Webinar
Category: banking CIO Customer euro Executive Decisions insurance operations payments securities social networking twitter Uncategorized Tags: banking, banking and investment services, Basel II, BCM DR, cio, cost containment, customer service, customer trust, financial crisis, financial services, financial services restructuring, innovation, insurance, IT, lending, market crisis, Operational risk, regulation, regulatory compliance, restructuring, risk management, scenario planning, sourcing
by Kristin Moyer | December 20, 2011 | Comments Off
Contributed by David Furlonger
On the weekend, I read a rather alarming commentary by David Stockman European Banking System is on the Verge of Collapse. While this analysis clearly highlights the fragility of bank balance sheets, it doesn’t dig deeply into the graver issue facing the Eurozone policy makers and indeed the world – that of hypothecation. As has been highlighted in the past (MF Global may be apocalyptic for the eurozone), the deeper concern is the amount of leveraged collateral that exists in the markets that has very little, or zero underlying asset foundation. In the sort-term, such leverage should give our children cause for concern. However, perhaps this is just the beginning of a more slippery slope.
The almost constant press commentary and hype about mobility and mobile/internet payments causes me to consider a potentially similar situation of hypothecation and re-hypothecation occurring in The Future of Money.
While regulation is inherently expensive and potentially limits free market activity, it can also (if applied prudently) act as a sound governor of irrational activity – witness the lack of attention afforded to AIG, Lehman’s and MF Global in the UK, and their excessively leveraged use of collateral.
Why is this relevant for the Future of Money and mobility? Mobile and Internet commerce have enabled the expansion of financial services activity beyond the boundaries of the banking industry and remit of regulators. Multiple participants (Telcos, Payment providers, Retailers and even private individuals) offer products and services that are bought, sold and financed outside of the traditional financial services market. They and their activities are unregulated and potentially unchecked due to the consumerization of IT and the power/reach of the Internet. Moreover, the enabling currency of these transactions is not necessarily fiat-based, ie government issued national currency.
As the euro crisis unfolds and individuals face difficult living conditions and austerity constraints, they may well turn to new, digital currencies (loyalty tokens, gaming credits, bandwidth etc) as a means of survival, continuing to conduct commercial activity, barter etc. And, much of this activity may be leveraged and the means of payment used as collateral.
So, now to the point of hypothecation and the question for our grand children:
- in a totally unregulated and poorly audited market,
- where digital content and value can be created and exchanged in real-time by anyone,
- without the frictional cost of an intermediary,
- where potentially there is no underlying asset to back the exchange for value.
Is the Future of Money facing an apocalypse of digital new money hypothecation?
Of course, this may be a stretch and is perhaps an insignificant concern in the current crisis. However, as policy makers debate the “solution” to the current malaise, keeping one eye on emergent trends may help defer an unfortunate legacy.
What does this mean for our clients?
- The rush to connect with innovative payment schemes, providers and commercial channels should not abrogate responsibility of senior executives to monitor carefully the viability of counterparty relationships, and the extent of any “new money” hypothecation.
- Applications to manage collateral must account for new mediums of exchange and systems must be capable of managing new money
- The criticality of developing a holistic strategy for mobile financial services incorporating the Future of Money is essential to maintaining sound fiscal management.
- Companies should emphasize their account services (statements, fraud protection, etc.) as they launch payment services that support digital content, social gaming, social commerce, etc
Remember to read our latest research: CIOs Should Address the Impacts of the Euro Crisis on Their Enterprises Now and The Euro Crisis: Four Scenarios and How CIOs Can Prepare for Them, as well as attend the January 19th webinar on this topic: Euro Crisis Webinar and contribute to our survey: Euro Crisis Survey
Category: banking CIO Customer euro Executive Decisions insurance operations payments securities social networking twitter Tags: banking and investment services, Basel II, BCM DR, cio, cost containment, credit card, customer communication, customer service, customer trust, financial crisis, financial services, financial services restructuring, innovation, IT vendors, lending, market crisis, Mint, mobile banking, mobile payments, p2p lending, payments, paypal, regulatory compliance, restructuring, risk management, scenario planning, social media, social networking, twitter
by Kristin Moyer | December 13, 2011 | 1 Comment
Contributed by David Furlonger
Commentators suggest over half of the companies on the 2009 Fortune 500 list began during a recession or bear market. Does this offer hope to a European market saddled with an on-going crisis and likely poor economic growth, if not recession, for several years to come?
The new European Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 European Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020, which will come into effect from 2014 and will run until 2020 affirms this hope. Indeed, one can also argue that the level of entrepreneurship in many European countries is also quite strong as evidenced by THE GLOBAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND DEVELOPMENT INDEX. However, there is more to these two positive indications than meets the eye.
First, Horizon 2020 is not a new initiative; an earlier attempt to launch Europe on a path to innovative growth came in 2000 at the Lisbon Summit. In addition, one has to question whether the goals set then have been achieved, or are close to achievement.
The Eu has expanded and the recent euro crisis has highlighted stark divisions of interest and capability between member nations. There remains a large difference in economic and entrepreneurial performance in many countries which is manifest in both scientific and technological development.
Second, innovation and entrepreneurial activity requires sustainable funding and individual creativity. However, in: Is the Economic Crisis Impairing Convergence in Innovation Performance across Europe? , data suggests the level of investment in innovation during 2006-2009 has fallen substantially.
What does this mean for our clients?
- Centralized political structure doesn’t necessarily translate into individual invention, creativity and growth oriented development, that is sustainable and drives meaningful change – witness the different approach taken in Silicon Valley regardless of Federal US economic policy
- Companies seeking innovation should not wait for government bureaucracy to deliver performance
- Even if new investment may be hard to come by and discretionary spend is cut back, CIOs should still take an inventory of their initiatives and seek to reallocate money from poorly performing ones to alternates that have proven success records. Ie seek to scale innovation success
Remember to read our latest research:CIOs Should Address the Impacts of the Euro Crisis on Their Enterprises Now, as well as attend the January 19th webinar on this topic: Euro Crisis Webinar and contribute to our survey:Euro Crisis Survey.
Category: banking CIO Customer euro Executive Decisions insurance operations payments securities social networking Tags: banking and investment services, Basel II, BCM DR, cost containment, customer communication, customer service, financial crisis, financial services, financial services restructuring, innovation, insurance, IT, market crisis, Operational risk, risk management, scenario planning, social media
by Kristin Moyer | December 9, 2011 | Comments Off
Contributed by David Furlonger
As announced on the BBC (and other media outlets) today: Euro crisis: Eurozone deal reached without UK it appears on the surface as if consensus has been reached between many Eurozone countries on addressing the crisis. All but the UK whose current leader believes such a deal is not in the UKs best interest. Tweets on #euro (from presumably UK “supporters”) seem to back this view. Indeed the Chairman of Tullett Prebon was quoted with no little irony as saying “UK as isolated as someone left on the dock in Southampton as the Titanic sailed away.“ Yet, it should not be forgotten that the UK banks are still exposed to euro debt: Revealed: UK banks’ exposure to eurozone debt
Even if Mrs Merkel believes that the “Eu has learned from its [past] mistakes”, I think it is a very long shot to believe that all is now rosy in the euro garden.
Whether the goal of fiscal union (one of the scenarios in upcoming Gartner research) can be achieved or evenly partially manifest in a tax and budget pact remains to be seen. Mr Sarkozy and Mrs Merkel have certainly bought time – at least politically. However, the markets do not usually play by politically oriented rules or indeed politicians’ time lines (memories of the ECU/EMU come to mind). Indeed, it won’t have escaped the market’s attention that yet more money (lending) is promised as part of this deal.
Perhaps more importantly, and from a long-term perspective, the tragedy of the commons has not been addressed – rather this announcement from Brussels seems to reinforce it. There is a great article yesterday in the Hoover Institution Journal: The Euro & The Tragedy of the Commons that neatly explains the challenge before Europe, and indeed the US and its own debt crisis.
So, should CIOs and senior corporate executives (and the public) breathe easier? No! This situation is not resolved – at least not until amended treaty ratification occurs (and that is extremely uncertain), which is unlikely before March. Scenario planning remains an essential tool to uncover the implications and outcomes facing organizations and governments.
It is critical therefore that clients refer to Gartner research over the coming weeks to gain a better understanding on how to manage through this crisis: CIOs Should Address the Impacts of the Euro Crisis on Their Enterprises Now, as well as attend the January 19th webinar on this topic: Euro Crisis Webinar.
We will also be releasing the results of our survey: Euro Crisis Survey over the next few weeks as clients reveal their contingency plans.
Category: banking CIO Customer euro Executive Decisions insurance operations payments securities social networking Tags: banking and investment services, BCM DR, cost containment, customer communication, customer service, financial crisis, financial services, financial services restructuring, insurance, IT, IT vendors, lending, market crisis, Operational risk, regulation, restructuring, risk management, scenario planning
by Kristin Moyer | December 8, 2011 | 2 Comments
Contributed by David Furlonger
Today’s WSJ suggested the Euro currency was finished: Banks Prep for Life After Euro
This is another news article, in a continuing stream, that has become more intense over the last several months. The question is, are IT professionals, as opposed to economists and maybe politicians, prepared for a redenomination of a major world currency?
Our clients offer a mixed response. Some clearly have been running contingency scenarios. Others seem oblivious to the fact that full euro currency disintegration, or some form of eurozone realignment should influence their 2012 strategic plans. Many seem unsure of what they can do, regardless of the scenario that unfolds.
Certainly, this is more than just a financial services or governmental situation. Any organization with European interests needs to understand the impact on its business and critically IT organization should there be such a substantial a change in the political or financial environment. At a macro level, euro redenomination would also have a global impact, affecting trade flows and consumption patterns.
For CIOs it is essential immediate consideration is given to this crisis. Following initial research completed in 2009 and again in 2010, Andrea Di Maio (a Government analyst colleague – see) and I have written another research note to help guide our clients during this difficult period:
CIOs Should Address the Impacts of the Euro Crisis on Their Enterprises Now
Clients should view this research as just the beginning. Upcoming research will highlight alternate scenarios that may play out in the market and thence the IT implications that CIOs need to address. Gartner will also be providing specific guidance for various roles within the technology operation and a stream of research will be forthcoming over the next few weeks.
We also encourage you to attend a webinar (Gartner Webinar Schedule) that will take place in January.
We encourage your comments as we update you on this interesting and challenging environment.
Category: Customer Executive Decisions insurance operations payments social networking twitter Tags: banking, banking and investment services, Basel II, BCM DR, cio, euro, financial crisis, financial services, financial services restructuring, IT, market crisis, Operational risk, payments, regulation, risk management, scenario planning
by Kristin Moyer | June 16, 2011 | Comments Off
The Gartner Banking & Investment Services (BIS) team is adding an analyst in the Investment Management area (i.e. asset management and wealth management). Full details of the role and how to apply or refer a friend/colleague can be found here. Please note that this search is global (although it is listed as an EMEA hire) and location is not paramount so long as you have an Internet connection, can work remotely and are close to an airport! Most important is that the successful applicant should have great analytical skills – able to generate new ideas and critique existing ones – and then apply these skills to recognize business trends and deliver IT advice to senior executives. That will require an open and inquiring mind as well as deep experience of both the business and IT sides of this sub-sector of the FS industry.
Category: Uncategorized Tags:
by Kristin Moyer | April 8, 2011 | Comments Off
Don Free and Kristin Moyer here. In anticipation of a potential government shutdown in the United States at midnight on April 8th, Navy Federal Credit Union has taken steps to engender customer loyalty. They have announced that they will cover the April 15 payroll for those active duty members who have their direct deposit of pay at Navy Federal. Navy Federal will also expedite approvals for lines of credit, overdraft programs and credit card limits.
Although active military won’t get paid if the government goes offline on Friday, their pay is being accrued and is guaranteed by the US government. So Navy Federal is not really taking a big risk by depositing the regular pay into their customer’s accounts, but they are building mega loyalty in the process.
It’s not always technology that makes the difference – smart play.
Category: Uncategorized Tags:
by Kristin Moyer | January 6, 2011 | Comments Off
Stessa Cohen here. Mobile banking sounds simple, but it may still be confusing to bankers trying to sort out the hype from the opportunity. Is it like online banking but on a smaller screen? Is it a browser on a phone or a bunch of cryptic SMS codes that only unbanked consumers in India or Kenya will use?
It’s not confusing to consumers who enjoy extending self service to their mobile devices.
And, perhaps unlike other researchers, mobile, mobility & banking and the role they play in the lives of consumers are not confusing to Gartner Banking Industry analysts. As early as 2005 and 2006, I started writing about multichannel integration and the need for banks to adopt channel agnostic approach to retail delivery. In fact, the example I used in presentations was the ability to deliver banking transactions to an iPod.
From the start of our coverage of mobility and banking, my colleague Christophe Uzureau and I identified mobile financial services — the intersection of banking and payments on the mobile device. Our latest research, The Fundamentals for Success with Mobile Financial Services, reflects the evolution of our holistic thinking about the role of mobility in banking. Gartner has long written about synergies that appear in that intersection that may not have been possible in other “channels.”
As exciting as mobile banking is, customers have a life outside of banking. Alistair Newton’s note will help you design effective and personalized products your customers will want to use.
Of course, we have data to back this up. David Furlonger’s Gartner Innovation Survey: Culture and Executive Buy-In Essential to Successful Banking Innovations takes a hard look at innovation, changing organizations and measuring effectiveness.
So, I guess this post is a bit of a plug — Gartner analysts get mobile and how it fits — and will fit — into your bank’s business and technology architecture. Don’t let the hype confuse you.
Category: Customer operations payments Tags:
by Kristin Moyer | December 23, 2010 | Comments Off
The banking industry is undergoing radical transformation, and banks must adapt. Debit cards are the latest area of transformation needed for US issuers. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act included provisions regarding debit card interchange fee and routing. In response to this, the Federal Reserve Board unveiled a proposed rule that would establish debit card interchange fee standards and prohibit network exclusivity arrangements and routing restrictions on December 16, 2010: Regulation II, Debit-Card Interchange Fees and Routing. Debit card interchange fees are established by payment card networks and paid by merchants to card issuers for each transaction. The new rules would take effect July 21, 2011. While the Fed estimates that this would reduce debit interchange fees received by issuers by more than 70% below industry average, others estimate it is more likely between 84%
. The Federal Reserve is now requesting comment on this proposed rule.
Regulation II is currently a proposed rule and could be altered, but pressure has been building on placing limits on interchange for some time. Banks must therefore assume that radical profitability re-engineering in not just their card portfolios, but across the entire retail banking relationship, is an urgent requirement regardless of the ultimate fate of Regulation II. While this particular rule is focused on debit cards and deposit accounts, prepaid and credit cards could be impacted by future rules as well. Profitability re-engineering is an even more urgent matter for banks to accomplish because in addition to its substantial financial impact, consumers trust debit and credit card providers to support their payment needs (see “Banks, Check Your Fundamentals Before Launching New Payment Instruments
”). Future research will identify technology strategies and applications that will support radical profitability re-engineering.
One thing that Regulation II does is fundamentally alter the value proposition of contactless and mobile. What are your thoughts – will this be the tipping point for mobile in the US? What about EMV?
Category: payments Tags: debit card, emv, interchange, regulation II