After failing to fully recover from the last financial crisis, the pandemic poses major new challenges for banks. However, this time, banks are not the problem, but part of the solution. By providing credit to the economy, banks play a crucial role in fighting the pandemic by ensuring the transmission of fiscal and monetary stimulus to the economy. Nevertheless, banks are not among the winners of the pandemic, suffering from a drop in interest rates and from increased provisions for non-performing loans.
In addition, the financial sector is still undergoing a profound transformation process. The regulatory environment remains a headwind for financial institutions, and new technologies are changing the rules of the game. Populism and political and geopolitical uncertainties create additional challenges, curtailing investment and risk-taking. Finally, the ever-increasing focus for investors and corporations alike on topics around ESG – environmental, social and governance – and sustainability brings with it a whole new set of challenges and opportunities that need to be navigated. An important element in successfully tackling these challenges is a healthy corporate culture that allows for the necessary change to happen – including an increase in female representation and a better gender balance in corporate board rooms.
This conference will present an outlook on these developments and their implications for the financial services industry and economies at large, primarily presented by leading female exponents of the financial services industry as well as key public authorities.