Financial Services CEOs Look to Emerging Markets for Growth

Financial services companies need to look far beyond their domestic markets if they are to achieve their ambitious growth aspirations, according to the 14th annual PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Global Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Survey. The research shows CEOs of financial services companies believe emerging markets are more important than developed markets to their organisation’s future. China tops the list of countries financial services CEOs are actively targeting as they look to offset the slow growth in their home markets. This is followed closely by Brazil, India and the US.

But tapping into these markets may be more difficult than CEOs’ confident growth predictions anticipate. Over a third (38%) of global financial services CEOs see the availability of key talent as a major threat to their plans. With talent in short supply, competition for recruitment is leading to high staff turnover and escalating salaries. These challenges will only mount as companies expand further, highlighting the need for a more strategic approach to training and nurturing talent locally.


Banking CEOs are adjusting to a new landscape. Over a third (36%) of those surveyed said they have fundamentally adapted their company’s strategy in the past two years, driven primarily by changing attitudes to risk. In future, banks will need to face the unprecedented rise in saving levels that is expected to become a permanent fixture. Western banks also face stronger competition from E7 emerging economies banks, both within emerging markets and increasingly on their own turf.

Robert Sullivan, global banking leader at PwC, said: “Banking CEOs recognise the world is changing and that their organisations will have to adapt. Changes in customer behaviour, the shift in global economic power and increasing government influence are not a temporary blip, and banks need to invest heavily in technology and innovation to respond to customers’ new expectations.”


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