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A new business model for corporate and investment banking

Portrait of Dominik Löber
Senior Partner
Frankfurt Office, Central Europe
+49 69 29924-6105
28 augustus 2018

Meeting the challenges of digital disruption

Banks are under attack on multiple fronts. Non-banks and FinTechs are introducing a cluster of easy-to-use, value-adding products that are chipping away at the traditional revenue streams of banks. Innovative platform models are putting a bank's clients within a mouse-click of the products of numerous competitors and their products. At the same time, banks need to prepare for the fact that the business models of their clients are being disrupted to different degrees.

New players in the banking industry usually attack via three anchor points: the client interface, the product offering or the technology. To face this challenge head-on and deal with the all-round digital impact, banks need to refocus their offering along the lines of the attack and focus on being one of three archetypes: the relationship expert, the product expert, or the technology service provider.

FinTechs and platform models are chipping away at traditional banking revenues.
FinTechs and platform models are chipping away at traditional banking revenues.

Relationship experts strongly focus on understanding clients and offering the right products based on the individual client's needs, managing not only the client but also the providers of the products they offer since most of the products and services are sourced externally. The bank thereby generates provisioning and intermediation fees.

The product expert, on the other hand, focuses on providing specific best-in-class banking products to their network partners and the client directly. This goes hand in hand with a strong focus on efficiency: Each product has to be profitable in itself and should not need to rely on a cross-selling logic.

Lastly, the technology service provider supplies the infrastructure that the clients and their network partners need. To be successful with this positioning, the bank needs a good understanding of technological changes and the way these changes will impact their clients. It should furthermore identify automation possibilities and strive to automate to the largest extent possible. The bank can then realize licensing and provisioning fees.

Banks that decide to move toward capturing the client interface or providing technical systems to their customers (archetypes 1 and 3) can consequently extend their offering by moving beyond traditional banking and offering integrated solutions to their corporate clients. This means, some banks will enter areas formerly claimed by software/tech companies, turning financial services into integrated services beyond CIB. These solutions not only enlarge the service offering of banks, adding a further revenue stream, but also raise banks' importance in their clients' ecosystem.

When it comes to drafting a digital strategy, banks should first develop an ambitious vision taking into account the three archetypes mentioned before. For a successful transformation, they will not only need to promote technical expertise within the organization, but also change the culture to create a digital mindset. Finally, banks will need to focus more on their research & development (R&D) capabilities as this is an integral success factor in a more digitalized world. Otherwise they will not be able to keep pace with their innovative competition, namely tech giants and FinTechs.

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A new business model for corporate and investment banking

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B2C banking has already seen major disruption through the emergence of FinTechs. Now it is the B2B segment's turn to be challenged.

Published August 2018. Available in
Further reading
Portrait of Robert Buess
Robert Buess
Senior Partner
Zürich Office, Central Europe
+41 79 714 4445
Portrait of Klaus Juchem
Senior Partner
Frankfurt Office, Central Europe
+49 69 29924-6323