In the original 30 Voices on 2030: Future of Financial Services, 30 senior leaders from financial services and beyond – insiders, outsiders and challengers – predicted what the industry might look like in 2030. 

Although they were broadly optimistic for the future of financial services, they also highlighted a number of challenges the industry must address. In some cases they acknowledged that their own time influencing technology, regulation and innovation was coming to an end – and wondered excitedly about how people with a new outlook might steer their industry.

With these challenges top-of-mind, on the 31st January 2019, in a converted East London warehouse, the 30 Voices: The Next Generation initiative handed the microphone over to more than 200 of the brightest thinkers, the next generation of financial services talent. Divided into teams and supported by KPMG’s own specialists, our Next Generation thinkers were tasked with coming up with solutions to problems ranging from rising cyber-crime to financial exclusion and from how to harness data for good to the future of home ownership. 

The proposed solutions to the challenges were then scrutinised by an expert panel of judges from leading organisations, including Microsoft, UK Finance, Innovate Finance, TISA, Bloomberg, CYBG, GainX and RBS.

On March 25th, we invited six of the shortlisted teams, found below, to our finale held in Canary Wharf. It was that evening, we crowned Team Eden winners for their unique approach to how the financial services sector might participate in the mobility revolution. Runners up included Team Money Kingdom and Team ShareAll, finishing second and third respectively – learn more about their solution.

Explore the shortlisted ideas:

The original challenges posed sat across three areas where change and new ideas are most needed:

Challenge 1 What should a next generation pension look like? How do we close the savings gap?

People are living longer and saving less. Even the state pension is starting to look unaffordable by 2030. In addition, many people start work today carrying huge student debts, even before they think about long-term saving.

What must we do to meet the pension needs of an ageing population? What big idea could help close the savings gap – particularly for people under 30?

How do you envisage using financial services to plan your long-term savings and spending?

Challenge 2 What is the future of FS on the high street in a digital first world? At the right cost? Is there a social purpose?

Retail shops and mass branch closures have already changed the face of the high street. Open banking, apps and other forces threaten to further reshape what services can be delivered on and off line.

Yet the Post Office see their role differently – being at the heart of communities.

Success in 2030 will be the ideal fusion between the physical and the digital

Henk Van Hulle of The Post Office in 30 Voices.

What relationship-based services will FS customers (especially digital native ones) need in 2030? What kinds of services will emerge that demand face-to-face interaction? How might that be fulfilled? What other role can branches fulfill? How can this all be frictionless and seamless for customers?

Challenge 3 How might FS organisations make more money out of data than their existing offerings?

Businesses and consumers already share huge amounts of data about what they do and how they think. With the Internet of Things and smart sensors, data volumes will balloon by 2030.

What new businesses could we build from these insights? What does insurance look like when it’s based on real-time activity data and analysis? If most of our behaviours are predictable from data, what’s the cost/benefit for ‘risk management’?

What effects might greater data transparency have on investing? How might consumer risk appetites shift – and how might that change investment decisions?

And what limits ought to be imposed on the use of data to shape interactions with FS customers and maintain trust?

Challenge 4 What is the future for SME lending?

Short-term, micro and peer-to-peer (P2P) lending is already supporting individuals and SMEs. New platforms are changing the way we invest in equities and property.

How can established FS players maintain a role in funding the growth of these smaller businesses? What’s their edge – and where will new models win?

What use-cases can you imagine for blockchain (distributed ledger technology, or DLT) in P2P business lending? Or transitional asset ownership? How might it be used to finance new SMEs?

What other services might help FS organisations maintain a role in funding the growth of small businesses?

Many [smaller businesses] struggle to get credit because banks misclassify them or because they cannot access the relevant data about how the business is performing. In 2030 all this data will be available for the business to use real-time.

Roger Vincent of Trader Ledger in 30 Voices.

Challenge 5 How can FS make money in the Mobility Ecosystem revolution?

Mobility – how we move people and goods around – is reshaping our world, with far-reaching implications for infrastructure investment, consumer lending, insurance, healthcare and property.

With mobility-as-a-service shifting traditional market and regulatory boundaries, how can FS firms stay relevant to the evolving businesses driving the revolution?

How can they integrate with the technologies and business models underpinning it?

Challenge 6 How can FS release value through sharing economies?

Both personal and commercial assets are increasingly being shared, reused and repurposed to maximise their value and reduce waste. From scooter-sharing services to cloud computing, investment is being concentrated and use shared.

What differences can we expect to see in 2030 when it comes to lending, owning and operating revenue generating assets?

How might technologies such as blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT) reframe how we look at asset ownership, allocation and value?

What do financial services need to offer businesses and individuals to help them release greater value from existing assets – and invest sensibly in new ones?

Challenge 7 What is the future of home ownership and financing?

The housing crisis is felt most acutely by the young and the poor. While the government and house-building industry are critical to delivering solutions, the way we finance property and manage lending and investing around housing are crucial.

What would your ideal vehicle(s) for financing your own housing look like? How would you capture the need for security, longevity and even returns?

Thinking about Britain in 2030, what will we look back on as the turning point for housing policy – and for making housing affordable for your generation? What mistakes did we fix in investment, lending and financial structures?

Challenge 8 How can FS firms deliver ‘customer experience excellence’ in 2030?

Incumbent FS organisations are already fighting (and sometimes collaborating with) hyperscales, fintechs and challengers on the battleground of customer experience.

Customer expectations are evolving as fast as technology and business models.

In what areas, and how much, should we expect FS firms to adapt to individual customer needs and wants? What will customers in 2030 want from their bank, investments or insurer?

What other sectors should FS firms look to for customer experience excellence? What’s holding back traditional FS organisations? And what technologies will drive outstanding FS customer experience in a decade? What needs to be joined up within the organisation to help deliver stand out front line customer experience?

Challenge 9 How do we align the FS workforce to embrace AI?

Like all industries, FS has faced a long-running challenge to keep workforce skills up to date and relevant to customer and technology demands. Now artificial intelligence – from predictive analytics to machine learning, robo-advisers to algorithmic risk analysis – threatens upheaval for the next generation workforce.

What skills do different types of FS businesses need to develop or buy in faced in the AI revolution?

What is the ideal structure of an FS workforce that combines the best of human skill with digital technology?

Challenge 10 How should FS firms address regulatory compliance in 2030 to reduce inefficiencies and improve outcomes?

Despite increased regulation, cost pressures and more complexity, FS compliance functions have been slow to reduce duplication, inefficiencies and embrace new technologies. In coming years, they will need to accelerate these efforts, especially as regulation evolves and becomes global.

What is the role of the FS compliance function in 2030?

How can AI and other digital technologies improve compliance activity?

What RegTech solution would you build?

Challenge 11 How should we address bias in algorithmic decision making?

Nothing can stop a customer making a bad decision with investments. But AI-enabled robo-advisers will be able to call attention to the risks they run. Conversely, ‘black box’ decision-making systems in banks and insurers are accused of bias against certain groups, neglecting individual circumstances.

In what other ways might technology help investors articulate and reach their financial outcomes in ways that also fit their risk profile?

How far can we personalise interactions while at the same time eliminating bias based on groups they belong to or behaviours they exhibit?

Challenge 12 What must FS firms do to reduce ID theft and other crimes?

Organised, sophisticated criminals are innovative and adept at looking for new ways to abuse the financial system.

Colin Bell of HSBC in 30 Voices.

Even without cyber criminals, FS systems are vulnerable – to both inherent failure and more general weaknesses in the digital infrastructure we take for granted. Getting ahead of hackers, social engineers and disruptive elements is a vital mission.

How will we develop approaches that integrate financial players, law enforcement and industry – and work across geographies – to handle cyber vulnerabilities?

How else might we innovate to confront the challenge of cyber-crime? What are the threats you think will, be most significant by 2030?

Challenge 13 How do we improve financial education and literacy?

We need to make finance much more accessible. That means we need to get away from the jargon we use today. It also means addressing the lack of finance education in schools and universities.

Nick Middleton of UBS in 30 Voices.

Numeracy and financial education is becoming a priority at all levels of education – and ‘financial wellness’ (control over money, capacity to absorb a shock, confidence in decision-making and choices in lifestyle) is an accepted policy objective.

What responsibility do FS organisations have to support financial wellness?

How might new technologies and business models contribute to financial wellness by 2030?

How should schools, workplaces and other organisations help build people’s financial wellness and numeracy?

What’s your solution?

Challenge 14 How can the FS industry improve diversity?

In 2030, the brands that will be winning the most customer loyalty will have adapted their culture, their organisation and their values to their customers. That starts with ensuring your leadership reflects your customers, from gender to race and beyond.

Claire Calmejane of Société Générale in 30 Voices.

Businesses need to ensure they have a mix of skills and talents, including in data, innovation and engineering. They must also learn to cater for individuals who will increasingly shift careers several times during their working life.

What must the FS industry do to ensure a diverse, prosperous workforce?

How should they evaluate the impact of education and skills in ways that makes investment in people more attractive?

What’s your solution?

Challenge 15 How do we increase access to FS for all in society?

The financial services industry has historically focused on providing products and services to people who generate revenue. But this leaves behind a significant number of people who don’t have access to banking services – which causes all sorts of issues around poverty and debt.

Emma Bickerstaffe of The Big Issue in 30 Voices.

A cashless economy will disproportionately – and negatively – impact these individuals. Poverty, both financial and technological, will still be a factor in 2030.

How will we ensure a minority (the elderly, under-banked, low-income households) are not left behind by this change?

With data-driven models of risk and potential reward, how do we prevent sections of society from being excluded from a broad range of financial services? What could be done to address concerns over know your customer (KYC) regulations and the digital-first verification of identity?

What duty do FS firms have to be inclusive of all customers – and how should regulators in 2030 be framing this commitment?

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