In the last 18 months, the banking sector has changed significantly due to Covid-19 and the challenges the pandemic has brought. As a result, new demands have emerged and processes have changed. Bank and financial services employees are having to adapt.
The pandemic has forced banks and financial services firms to operate more flexibly.
Regional Support Manager for Small Business Banking at HSBC UK, Andy Jones, says, “Changing our processes became a lot more streamlined, as we adapted to the ever-changing environment during lockdown.”
Jenny Linsell, HSBC’s Deputy Risk Management Director for Small Business Banking, agrees. “The creation, development and implementation of new processes – and things like the government loan schemes – would have taken longer previously.
“Because of the pandemic, all banks and financial institutions have had to turn this around in a matter of weeks.”
The impact on business banks’ relationships with customers
During the first lockdown, those employed in the banking industry had to adapt to working from home. This changed how they interact with customers.
Jones says, “We’ve seen customer uptake increase in leaps and bounds from a digital perspective.”
Losing the option to communicate face-to-face in a branch – and having longer call-queue times – has encouraged customers to bank through mobile and e-banking.
But, digitalisation has also brought to light the needs of vulnerable customers, who still require face-to-face interaction.
And from a risk perspective, the acceleration to digital has increased fraud. Some customers are still unfamiliar with the way digital banking works, and that makes them more susceptible to scams.
“We’ve seen more scams, preying on vulnerability,” says Linsell.
How can you update your business banking skills
Going forward, Linsell says that business bankers need more training around digitalisation. “The financial world is moving digitally, so we need more education around the risks and opportunities that come with digital interaction.”
To navigate today’s environment, bankers need to be confident about addressing their customers’ changing needs and demands.
That’s why we’ve launched our new Certificate in Business Banking (CertBB), which was written by business bankers. As well helping you better understand your customers, it focuses on:
- digital disruption
- credit risk, and
- managing problem loans.
You’ll also develop an understanding of digital technologies, such as:
- artificial intelligence
- blockchain and more.
Talking about CertBB, Linsell says, “A lot of it is about knowing how the business works and building relationship with your customers. It can give you a better context around the regulatory requirements and external factors involved.”
Find out more about our CertBB qualification