Although the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region is currently under a severe amount of debt pressure, the rate of regional household and business borrowing has actually slowed in recent years. That being said, debt levels remain high overall. Across APAC, a 5% increase in the household debt to GDP ratio over a three-year period is expected to lead to a 1.25% drop in GDP growth in another three years.
In a world where you can access mobile banking in the blink of an eye, the technology used to identify customers still falls far behind.
By now, banks are used to fintech scare stories. It’s all challengers, startups and open banking. The new guys, it’s said, are coming for the incumbent banks.
Truth is that, for now at least, these challengers struggle to match the power of an established bank. The more likely result is partnership, rather than competition. But there is the exception: The FAANGs (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google).
Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google have already embarked on well-documented forays into financial services. So what, we wonder, would their collections departments be like if they become fully-fledged banks?
On the surface, the finance sector might seem equitable: over half of the world’s employees in the financial services sector are female. Drill deeper though, and a new picture emerges.
While the gender split, in terms of sheer numbers, is about right, leadership positions take on an altogether more masculine veneer. Women hold only 25% of senior management roles in the global Financial Services industry.
In the mid-nineties, Bill Gates said that ‘banking is necessary, banks are not’. Back then, Gates’ pithy comment was merely a bit of throwaway futurism. The supremacy of the big banks seemed insurmountable. But as the years passed, his words have become increasingly prophetic.