When I look back on 2019, I characterise it as the year the penny well and truly dropped for the financial services industry. This was the realisation that the practice of not having the customer absolutely at the heart of things is part of a bygone era. I believe that 2019 is when the era of the customer has really begun.
In 2018, we experienced the revelations from the Royal Commission. This year we have started to build the strategies around how we ethically and comprehensively ensure the customer is the beneficiary of everything we do.
For Boards and their executives, they have experienced what can only be described as a watershed year in terms of expectations of behaviour. This highlighted the need for commitment to improving corporate culture, which is the biggest influencer of all.
So, what does 2020 have in store for us? I believe our business needs to ‘brace for change’. We need to be prepared for no let up from regulators, customers /members and consumer lobby groups. There is new legislation in force. We have an industry regulator in APRA that is prepared to push the industry on best practice outcomes. Change is in the air and it’s going to continue.
2020 will also introduce new innovation that will have significant impact on how we approach banking and saving. Open Banking is on the horizon. It signals a change in how we can use data effectively. As well as the Open Banking providers, consumers will have access to more data. This will drive behavioural change.
I see this customer-led journey influencing the superannuation industry as well. If you couple this with the challenge of a low-yield economic environment, we must find better ways to understand and communicate usefully with super fund members. This year’s fall in interest rates to record lows will continue to have a knock on effect for many retirees. Income from savings, outside of superannuation, has halved for some Australians..This has an enormous impact on their retirement outcomes.
I would like to acknowledge the support of our valued clients throughout the year and express my thanks for trusting us with your business. I only hope the team here at McGing has helped you achieve your goals. We remain committed to being as helpful as we can be, so that you can focus on your own clients and/or members.
The team at McGing will be taking the time to rest and re-charge over the break and I wish everyone the very best for the festive season, no matter where, when and how you celebrate.