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What will tomorrow’s clients expect from us?

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It’s a question I often ask myself.

A transformation is underway in global financial markets, driven by startup firms and disruptive technologies, and investors’ needs are changing too.

The pace of change has been dramatic. When I read that global investment in FinTech ventures tripled to $12bn between 2013 and 2014 (Accenture 2015), it cements my belief that the fintech revolution could be the greatest opportunity the banking industry has ever seen.

We need to be part of this growing ecosystem.

Yes, start-ups have the power to disrupt as they’re quicker, more agile, and less confined by rules, regulation, or legacy technology. But we bring something to the table they don’t have – in-depth understanding of our clients. This is why it’s so vital that startup firms and big banks work together, share ideas and combine their skill sets. It’s how we will maximize the business opportunities in our evolving industry.

With over 150 years of experience and a global reach, UBS has value we can add to the innovative process. How do we scale our ideas? Are we delivering what clients really want? Are we exceeding their expectations? The technology can be built and proven, but start-ups will still need to ask themselves these questions. We explore some of these issues and more in our new Life’s Questions series.

So how do we go about collaborating with these new and fast-growing firms?

It starts with making sure we’re part of the conversation. That’s why we were the first bank to establish a presence in Canary Wharf’s Level39, home to over 170 startups, and why we have established an innovation presence globally.

At Level39, we’ve created an innovation lab, a unique platform from which to explore emerging technologies such as cryptocurrencies and the tools that power them, such as blockchain. How will revolutionary ideas like these impact financial services in the future? We want to play a role in how these solutions develop.

Our specialists act as mentors to entrepreneurs, giving them a sounding board to help them answer the big questions facing their businesses, from regulatory issues to the best way to handle the next stage of expansion. We know expanding a business can be daunting, so our new brand campaign focuses on how UBS can help company founders get over the hurdles to growth.

But that’s not all we do. Another new initiative helps us find the innovators of the future namely our Future of Finance Challenge, a global competition to find fintech startups with potentially disruptive technological ideas and solutions that could reshape our industry. We’re looking forward to revealing the winners of this competition following the regional finals in November.

As well as tapping into the wider FinTech community, we know how important it is to make sure our own house is in order. So we have been investing heavily into new technologies within the UBS group.

Extensive market research is helping us to understand what tomorrow’s clients will expect from us, and we are building a state-of-the-art IT structure which will help us to deliver it.

As the world’s largest wealth manager, we want to stay at the forefront of thought leadership, whether in technology, services or products.

FinTech innovation is reshaping the landscape of financial services, and we’re excited to be part of that ecosystem

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