I've just attended EBAday for the first time in a few years, and it's an interesting conference.
Like a mini-SIBOS for Europe, the major focus is on regulations, specifically the Payment Services Directive II, and the bank's response.
However, in order to kick things off, the EBA (Euro Bank Association, not European Bank Authority) invited Andrew Tarvers, CEO of Capco and founder of Bold Rocket, to give a 'challenger speech'.
I wouldn't call it a challenger speech, so much as a 45 minute flagellation, as Andrew ripped into the banking audience and claiming they had zero understanding of today's world.
According to Andrew, bankers are 'cavemen':
... stuck in their quagmire of legacy and infatuated with regulation.
It was a pitch which was purposefully meant to provoke the audience, and it did as he was forever remembered as the 'guy in the red trousers' (yes, Andrew was wearing red trousers and, being a banking conference, everyone else was wearing a suit!).
I felt a little bit disappointed with the presentation as he kept raising the issues:
- banks are not focused upon the customer historically
- banks have purposefully ripped customers off in the past
- banks are full of old systems that should be replaced
- banks are not keeping up with social media or the needs of millennials
- banks have missed the bitcoin wave banks are threatened by Google, Facebook and more as they are unable to leverage big data banks should be more open and transparent
The thing is that many of us are aware of these issues - if you read my blog you would definitely be - and what we need are solutions.
Andrew stated that he avoided providing any solutions as he wasn't pitching for consulting work.
But here's my solution for a bank to move from this:
... to this:
First, work out if you need to revolutionise the bank or evolve it.
If it's a revolution, then invest in a new business model and nurture it outside the bank.
If it's an evolution, then focus upon being able to match best-in-class organisations that are out there.
Commit to the change, which means that you drive this wholeheartedly not half (the old thing about a chicken participates in breakfast, but the pig is committed).
Remember that the change is a continuum, not a short-term objective.
Dont worry about gorillas such as Google, but focus on the unseen threats of tomorrow, such as Bitcoin.
It is the embryos of the Gorillas that threaten you, not the big boys you see today.
Finally, read my book for real inspiration and guidance.
Yes, I am trying to sell something!
And, rather than write a detailed analysis of his speech, I think it's more interesting just reading the tweets.
It amazes me how often banking conferences have a keynote who opens with "you're all shite" #ebaday ... world's most masochistic industry— Chris Skinner (@Chris_Skinner) June 10, 2014
@Chris_Skinner hear hear! We already knew the challenge. What we wanted to know is how to fix it— Gareth Lodge (@Gareth_Lodge) June 10, 2014
It's easy to flagellate banks ... it's far harder to show banks how to break the shackles of their heritage #ebaday— Chris Skinner (@Chris_Skinner) June 10, 2014
Tarver misses the point. EVERY bank is investing in digital and competing with Google because they know it could kill them #ebaday— Chris Skinner (@Chris_Skinner) June 10, 2014
Legacy is result of M&A, globalisation, collaboration and creation of a financial exchange system that works ... now needs to evolve #ebaday— Chris Skinner (@Chris_Skinner) June 10, 2014
For the complete set, checkout #ebaday.