Changing client behaviour
People of every age are becoming increasingly digitally adept. Today’s clients - individuals and businesses - want to have control over their financial lives and favour self-directed banking. They expect their bank to give them the tools and products they need to conduct their banking business any time, any place and on any device. Equipped with more knowledge than ever about financial matters, clients want their bank to add value by offering broad and in-depth expertise. All of this - innovation, speed and convenience - should never come at the expense of the client’s security and privacy. We are addressing these increasingly demanding needs with our enhanced digital and mobile offering, personalised service, 24/7 webcare support and distinctive sector expertise.
Trends and market developments
Changing client behaviour
Increased regulation is more than a trend in the financial sector - it is the new reality, and it is here to stay. Supervisory authorities expect global financial institutions to be prepared at all times to respond to a potential crisis effectively and sustainably. New and updated regulations could significantly affect the bank’s capital position in the coming years. We will therefore continue to focus on spending our money more efficiently and will further strengthen our capital position. Some regulations will impose organisational and conduct requirements, driving up costs in the sector. These and many other regulatory developments are part of a larger movement in the industry aimed at fostering financial robustness, ethical conduct, innovation and operational resilience.
Disruptors and new entrants
Technology is advancing faster than ever and will continue to develop by leaps and bounds in the years ahead. Innovation is booming and consumers, businesses and markets expect financial institutions to provide state-of-the-art digital products and services. While regulatory developments are putting pressure on banks from the top down, other trends are rising up from below in the form of disruptors and new entrants. Fintechs, digital innovators, crowdfunding platforms - they have all made their presence felt in recent years and will continue to transform the financial industry in the coming years. ABN AMRO is meeting this challenge head-on by, among other things, investing in digitalisation and innovation and by teaming up with fintechs and start-ups.
Changing monetary conditions
Weak economic growth in Europe combined with the ECB’s monetary policy are expected to keep interest rates low for an extended period of time. This will continue to put pressure on banks’ profit margins on loans while making it difficult for banks to earn money on savings deposits. These developments will depress earnings in the banking industry. At the same time, the fundamentals of the Dutch economy are strong and the economy is benefiting from the low interest rate environment - witness the booming mortgage market. So, despite the weak European economic outlook and the related low interest rates, the outlook for the Dutch economy - and for the Dutch banking industry - is more upbeat than forecasts for the rest of Europe.
Read more in our Annual Report 2016 (PDF 8 MB)