Challenging Times- Challengers on the High-Street

Written by EO Executives on Oct 23, 2018


At EO Executives there is nothing we love more than challenging the status quo, learning from market shifts and witnessing disruption. Especially throughout 2018, we have seen changes to the economic climate and executive hiring trends, as more and more businesses start to prepare for the uncertainty of Brexit.  As a result, particularly at this time, our expert consultants are working with some of the most innovative and forward thinking businesses – both in the UK and Globally; who are cutting costs, restructuring their teams and forecasting to future-proof their business.

Over the years we have also witnessed these businesses and organisations alike scale at pace and rocket to success. However, we have also seen many go through challenging journeys to get to where they are. Our team have been passionate about supporting businesses through these challenges by placing high calibre executive leaders, who have the knowledge and skills to execute on key deliverables and take these businesses forward.

One industry we have seen a tremendous amount of change and uncertainty from our clients, has been in Financial Services. So far in 2018, any business operating in Financial Services will likely have had several challenges to face. Particularly around managing the demands of providing a great and interactive customer service, which requires the adoption of new technology. Meaning new systems, processes and training. Not to mention the move towards a more digital online service for the banks- meaning providers who may not have relied on social media in the past, can no longer ignore it. However, banks have been faced with the challenge of not only building an online presence, but also having to ensure that they do not portray an image of mistrust and bad reputation.

The players that are facing these challenges, and additionally competing with the large established banks, are the ‘Challenger Banks’. EO Executives have actively worked in this space for well over 15 years and are passionate about the Challenger Banks and their journey to transform an outdated Financial Services industry.

So, what do we know so far about the Challenger Banks and their mission?

The Financial Crisis of 2007-2008 opened opportunities across the financial sector and regulatory policy has encouraged new banks to enter the market creating a more level playing field that should improve both customer choice and customer outcomes.

Broadly the Challenger Banks can fall into four categories. Mid size full service banks, Specialist Banks, Digital only banks and non-bank brands.

We still do not see the major banks taking the threat of the challengers seriously and not all new banks appear to be living up to the “disruptor promise”.

To be successful each new bank needs to overcome specific (and not insignificant) challenges:

  • Customer switching generally remains low
  • Bug fixing can be timely and expensive
  • Scaling whilst remaining customer centric is challenging
  • The cost of funding is rising
  • Most of what is being created can be easily replicated

In our recent whitepaper 'Challenging Times- Challengers on the High-Street'  we have sought out the views of four CEO/COO / Founders at different stages in the formation of a new bank to help share insights across our executive community.

A big thank you to all four experts for so generously and openly sharing their experiences and good luck to all in the Financial Services sector who are driving for a brighter future.

No matter what industry, no business can ignore the need to continuously stay ahead of the curve and ensure they are meeting market demands, developing technology and enhancing customer service. So if you would like to find out more around how the Challenger Banks are challenging that status quo, download your personal copy of ‘Challenging Times- Challengers on the High-street’ HERE.

Alternatively, if you are a Challenger Bank in need of an experienced Executive to join you on your journey to transform Financial Services, please click here for more information.

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