Andreas Sommer

Andreas Sommer
ERNI Switzerland

There are factors and economical and political framework conditions which banks are exposed to. These conditions are making their existence a challenge, and if nothing changes, the financial institutions will lose their revenues and contact with the clients. The market has recently been based on low interest rates, although until now banks got their revenues from interest trades. This does not apply in the given sense. A second factor is the cross-border market access, which makes it increasingly more difficult for Swiss banks to acquire markets abroad. A certain level of protectionism is present, which means that it is becoming very difficult for a Swiss bank to enter the market in Germany or France, for example.

The financial regulators/regulatory institutions revealed some further risks recently:

  • If there were a crash in the real estate and mortgage market, it would have huge effects on the banks in Switzerland.
  • Potential cyber-attacks also pose one of the challenges/threats. Banks have to protect customer data by all means and invest a lot in the newest technologies.


Generally speaking, if a company makes a product easily replaced through the use of data, it can have a negative impact very quickly. Data creates new opportunities rather than poses as an imminent threat.

Optimising the potential of data is the alpha and omega. Today, with the digital affinity on the rise, financial institutions face the challenge to fill the niche that emerged due to global trends. Digital banking increases transparency and thus creates a pressure on margins. Moving away from traditional banking based on personal contact, every financial institution is looking for ways to outperform its competitors in digital transformation and the so-called smartphone banks.

Customer loyalty is decreasing, yet it is important now to have the right digital offering to fulfil the expectations of clients. Available whenever needed.


The banking landscape of 2030 will not be the one we know today. The most important trend is digitalisation in its growing form. This is bringing new competitors such as FinTech or the big tech companies to the finance market.

The platforms are based on the newest technologies; they are fast and flexible. FinTech places itself in between the banks and the end customers, which poses the threat of losing direct contact to clients for the banks. This often results in joint ventures being established between banks and FinTech. Let us take a look at the most important trends influencing financial institutions today.

1. Demography

The population is getting older. As digital natives, new generations have different requirements on banks and do not have the loyalty to a certain bank as was the case
with older generations. They have their apps and simply go for more convenient things. The customer behaviour is changed.

2. Globalisation

On one hand, we have protectionism, which is present in all countries. On the other hand, since the global crisis of 2007 the banks are no longer left to their own devices but state institutions came forward as regulators came and introduced criteria that the banks
had to fulfil. This requires an enormous amount of resources from the banks. International
banking has attracted increasing interest from policy makers, researchers and other financial sector stakeholders.

3. Sustainability

Sustainable finance aims at integrating Environmental, Social or Governance (ESG) criteria into financial services, and at supporting sustainable economic growth. The investment behaviour of clients has changed and continues to change. Aspects like business ethics, resilience, responsible finance and human capital are the focus of the efforts here.


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