3 Essential Leadership Qualities in Banking in 2017

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3 Essential Leadership Qualities in Banking in 2017

Leaders must cultivate these three attributes if they want their bank to survive the FinTech revolution.

An increased pace of technological evolution coupled with rising customer expectations, expanded VC funding and a decrease in regulatory barriers has created the opportunity for unprecedented change within the banking industry.

This environment has allowed FinTech startups and neobanks to thrive, claiming large parts of a value chain traditionally dominated by a few large players. Globally, 50.2% of customers are already doing business with at least one non-traditional FinTech (CapGemini), and that number is expected to continue to rise.

To retain existing customers, traditional firms must embrace a culture of innovation. That change starts at the top: good leaders set the example and embody the desired corporate culture. Banking leaders must:

Embrace Uncertainty

Change is impossible without risk. Traditionally, a list of desired leadership qualities in banking would not include risk-taking, yet it is this quality that is allowing FinTechs and neobanks to grow quickly and attract investment.

Leaders in banking must allow their employees to take risks and innovate. Penalising mistakes creates a risk-averse company culture. Instead, leaders should encourage out-of-the-box thinking and celebrate lessons learnt through failure.

Have a Collaborative Mindset

Many leaders in traditional financial institutions still view FinTechs as threats to either outcompete or acquire, but there are also opportunities for leaders who are willing to collaborate.

For example, DBS runs pre-accelerator programmes to enable them to connect with emerging FinTechs and create early opportunities for profitable partnerships.

Leave Your Ego at the Door

When a leader starts to believe that their own agenda and status makes their thoughts and ideas more valuable than their employee’s or partner’s views, there is very little room left for innovation or collaboration.

A humble leader empowers others to perform better by being open to other opinions, looking out for their team’s best interests, and admitting their mistakes.


James E.

James E.

Blackwater, England, United Kingdom

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