Kiwi bankers - world's most optimistic?

  • 09/12/2015

Kiwi bankers are the world's most optimistic, but they still fear the threat of outdated IT systems and Auckland's overheated housing market.

This is the conclusion of the Banking Banana Skins 2015 report, the 13th global snapshot of the risk landscape in the financial services sector.

Results showed that above all else, New Zealand bankers, risk managers, regulators and observers fear that banks will rely on old technology and will fail to keep up with the pace of digital change.

They were also concerned about the risk a bank's brand could be damaged by social media, or as one respondent put it: "Harm is just one tweet away."

The failure of the global economic recovery, the need for a change in banking management culture and concerns about a "housing bubble" completed the industry's top five fears.

But overall, New Zealand's banking industry is more optimistic than any other country, according to the report by the Centre for the Study of Financial Information and Pricewaterhouse Coopers.

The nation registered the lowest levels of overall anxiety and the highest levels of preparedness of all 52 countries surveyed, PwC's banking and capital markets leader Sam Shuttleworth said.

"This optimistic outlook is in part down to the Kiwi `can do' psyche, coupled with the lower levels in complexity of New Zealand's banking products and continued focus on regulation and risk management," said Mr Shuttleworth.

He said Kiwi bankers were particularly unconcerned about governance issues, a dominant fear in the rest of the world, with many local respondents commenting that bank risk management and boardroom performance had improved.

Regulation risk was also seen as considerably lower than in many other jurisdictions.


The banking sector's biggest fears:

1. Technology risk posed by outdated IT systems

2. Risk of reputation damage by social media

3. Failure of the global economic recovery

4. Not enough culture change in the management of business practices

5. Risk of build-up of a housing bubble