Customer service key to the future of banking: CIOs

Mobility, security and outsourcing top the list of technology priorities in the finance sector, according to a panel of IT leaders from ANZ, CBA and Greater Building society.


Panellists — including executive general manager of the Commonwealth Bank, David Curran, CIO of the Greater Building Society, Bruce White, ANZ CIO, Anne Weatherston and KPMG partner, Mark Chimes — spoke candidly about the challenges and changes confronting their sector at a recent Sydney seminar organized by the Irish Trade and Investment Mission.


Weatherston is a relative newcomer to the CIO role at ANZ; she joined the bank at the beginning of 2010. She was CIO for the Bank of Ireland for four years and IT director at Abbey/Santander, where she led and headed up its transformation program.


The speakers discussed the differences between the banking of the 90s, when product-based engines were dominant, and today’s system where customer service and distribution are key issues.


“Customer service will be the key to banking in the next five years,” Weatherston said. “There’s a new generation coming through.”


Weatherston revealed she is not the most avid supporter of outsourcing although the CIO would not rule the concept out completely.


“I’m not a big fan of outsourcing,” she said. “In a bank, the technology division is so critical to the strategy of that organization.”


She also talked about the relevance of mobility to the next generation of bankers.


“The trend that is going to be more and more important is mobility,” she said. “Mobility for the younger group coming through because they expect banking to be on their mobile.”


“People like me are moving across the world and I expect my banking to come with me”, she said.


The Commonwealth Bank’s David Curran, agreed.


“It’s not really about technology, it’s about meeting the needs of customers through the technology,” he said.


The panellists predicted security would be the big issue for banks were Australia to take a more expansive leadership role within the Asia Pacific.

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