By Mitch Razook, President & COO and Ruth Razook, Founder & CEO
RLR Management Consulting, Inc.
RLR Management Consulting, Inc. anticipates many key activities and trends in 2018. To start with, we believe that we may see economic conditions deteriorate from 2017 (which was very robust). We believe contributors to this will be an over inflated stock market, continued threat from North Korea, a threat to dissolve middle east peace talks and lower than expected corporate earnings as expectations for corporate earnings will be extraordinarily high.
We believe that Merger and Acquisition activity in 2018 will accelerate as it was less than anticipated in 2017. We also see an acceleration in DeNovo banking and in interest to form and purchase bank charters.
RLR predicts the first series of Fintech companies will come into banking as the stage has been set by the OCC and activities in 2017.
Branch transformation will be at the top of many bank’s priority lists as digital banking continues to grow and expand new transaction channels. We will see branches offering kiosk based services, as well as more do-it-yourself banking and begin to see experimentation with two-way video feed ATM’s. We will continue to see a shrinking footprint of brick and mortar as banking needs of millennial customers drive this change.
Cyber-Security will continue to be a huge topic, with more effective controls being piloted for implementation due to digital channel expansion.
Customer data, data analytics and CRM solutions will be highly desirable at banks of all sizes. Banks with competitive advantages will be those that have their customer data figured out and can target specific products for specific customers to meet specific needs.
Automating and Streamlining inefficient processes will be a priority in 2018 as M&A activity in prior years have not addressed efficiencies, causing efficiency ratios to rise, processing to take longer and be more cumbersome and customers to be frustrated.