Stakeholders in the financial services industry, yesterday called for a concerted effort among various players to massively leverage technology, especially data, which is globally touted as the next crude oil for their operations.
The stakeholders, who made the call at a Webinar, organized Nigeria’s CWG Plc in partnership with Surya Software Systems with the theme ‘Balance Sheet of the Future; Risk – Data – Analytics’, noted that the financial services sector must be able to harmonized and reconciled data in its domain.
Delivering the Guest Address, Mr. Pravat Kumar Dash, Senior Vice President and Head of market risk and liquidity risk function at India based Axis Bank asserted that for the banking sector to move ahead, it has to understand how digital products will help it move forward.
He said technology is constantly changing the way consumers react to a product, especially in this era of financial technology that is altering the banking industry. So, it is important for the banks to understand consumer behavior, as this will help them to plan out products and services in line with the consumers’ needs.
“The lines between fintechs and banks have become blurred as banks adopt digital products as informed by consumer behaviour data,” he said, adding that no country can have a sustainable growing economy without a strong financial system backed by innovative technologies.
Meanwhile, the keynote Speaker, her Excellency Mrs. Zainab S. Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning advised that players in the financial services industry needs to constantly keep abreast of development in the International and local environment, so as to imbibe a culture of continuous innovation coupled with strong governance and effective internal control.
The Minister, who was represented by Mr. Ben Akabueze, Director General, Budget Office, added that in this era of technology enabling other sectors of the economy, banks must adopt virtual realities.
“Do more virtual than physical banking. This will help them to respond to customers’ needs almost immediately,” he said, stressing that Balance Sheet must be structured to face every unforeseen circumstance, such as the Covid-19 pandemic that has disrupted many businesses.
Also speaking at the webinar attended by Chief Financial Officers, Customer Analytics and Risk Officers from various banks in Nigeria, Mr. DN Prahlad, Founder and Chairman of Surya Software Systems Private Limited, said the Balance Sheet must be flexible enough to respond to the margin risk, as technology is shaping every sphere of human endeavor.
“Technology is shaping everything we do and the banking sector isn’t left out,” said Surya Boss, a leader in the Financial Control and Risk Management domain in India. He highlighted that ‘Balance Sheet of the Future’ must have diversity, efficiency, strong room and must stand the test of time, which will ultimately lead to profitability.
“Banks must ensure that the balance sheet is flexible enough to respond to the margin risk, take advantage of data, keep a closed eye on consumer behavior so as to take advantage of every opportunity,” Mr. DN Prahlad added.
For Mr. Adewale Adeyipo, Chief Executive Officer of CWG Plc, who delivered the Special Address, financial services being the backbone of any growing or developed economy has increased dependency on leveraging technology from their internal operations to predictability and market creation.
The CWG’s CEO, who is regarded as a proficient, technology enthusiast and Business Executive with extensive experience in strategy, management and leadership, believes that for the financial service industry to experience continuous growth, technology must be deployed to aid that growth.
“The role of Balance sheet Management and ALM function in banks is of growing importance due to increased demands on Bank to improve performance, transparency and compliance to new and complex regulations. Thus, it is important to embrace advanced platforms and technologies that provide greater data navigation and analytical capabilities to manage risk, returns and capital,” Mr. Adewale stated.
Nigeria’s CWG Plc and India based Surya software organized the Webinar with special focus on‘Balance Sheet of the Future: Risk-Data-Analytics’to host Chief Financial Officers, Chief Information Officers and Chief Revenue Officer.
It was targeted at the Nigerian and Ghanian clients in a bid to foster conversations around innovative technologies Financial Service Institutions can leverage to measure risk and returns on capital, analyse data and sustain growth.