Banks turning to shared services

Banks turning to shared services

Consolidation of customer-facing services is increasingly popular in the financial services sector

Following frustrated attempts to deliver cost savings, banks are switching to a new utility concept based on shared services to boost IT efficiency, according to research.

Some 35 per cent of the 499 banks polled by the Economist Intelligence Unit for consultancy Booz Allen Hamilton said they failed to deliver savings of five per cent or more in the past three years.

As a result, financial institutions are turning to a “process utilities” service model, which consolidates client-facing services such as opening accounts and billing statements, said the survey.

"Process utilities are a proven path to boost efficiencies, cut costs and even deliver better customer service,” said Booz Allen Hamilton principal J Scott Cade.

“This next generation of shared services is slated to become a key way for financial institutions to achieve their business goals."

One third of the banks polled said that migrating IT infrastructure and application development into process utilities is a top priority.

Despite the potential savings, the implementation of the new model faces technical challenges and other issues related to cultural change and multi-channel management, said the study.