Trends & Lessons from 2017

Banking Frontiers - - News - Manoj Agrawal Mo­bile : 98673 66111 Email : manoj@bank­ingfron­tiers.com

So, what were the big trends in 2017 and what lessons do they carry for us?

Anti-Cor­rup­tion: Mo­ham­mad bin Sal­man took force­ful steps to re­duce top level cor­rup­tion in Saudi Ara­bia. Anti-cor­rup­tion pres­sure forced Robert Mu­gabe to re­sign as pres­i­dent of Zim­babwe. Cor­rup­tion seems to be de­clin­ing in many parts of the word and there seem to be 2 main rea­sons. One is that in­for­ma­tion sup­pres­sion is de­clin­ing thanks to the spread of the in­ter­net. Si­mul­ta­ne­ously, cit­i­zens ev­ery­where are de­mand­ing bet­ter gov­er­nance.

Ter­ror­ism & War: ISIS lost its strongholds in Mo­sul and Raqqa. On the other hand, there have been sev­eral ter­ror­ist at­tacks, mainly in West­ern Europe and West Asia. Ter­ror­ism seems to be in­creas­ingly de­cen­tral­ized and will prob­a­bly be even more dif­fi­cult to tar­get by con­ven­tional mil­i­tary means. The bot­tom­line is that the threat from ter­ror­ism is far from over.

Eco­nomic: The big­gest news in In­dia is surely the re­place­ment of a large mul­ti­tude of taxes by a sin­gle tax, the GST. Also, In­dia rose to the 100th spot in World Bank rank­ings on ease of do­ing busi­ness. The most im­por­tant news, though not a head­line, is that nei­ther the world nor any ma­jor econ­omy suf­fered a ma­jor de­cline.

Tech­nol­ogy: The ter­ri­ble head­lines in­clude Mumbai Univer­sity ex­am­i­na­tion re­sults be­ing de­layed by soft­ware bugs, Wan­nyCry mal­ware spread­ing fear and fake news spread­ing like wild fire. The good news of course is the greater pen­e­tra­tion of dig­i­tal, es­pe­cially among the eco­nom­i­cally weaker sec­tions and com­mer­cial­iza­tion of in­no­va­tions like blockchain. I want to high­light two ma­jor head­lines. First is that Europe de­clared Uber as a taxi com­pany, fin­ish­ing the com­pany’s po­si­tion­ing of be­ing a tech­nol­ogy com­pany. Is this a dis­rup­tion of the dig­i­tal wave? This sig­nals a new trend that dig­i­tal can­not hide in the vir­tual world, it must be a part of the real world. I won­der if this will soon ex­tend to cryp­tocur­ren­cies! The scond head­line was the de­bate over whether AI will em­power mankind or finish it. I am glad this de­bate is hap­pen­ing now, rather than when it is too late. But it needs to move from a celebrity de­bate to a main­stream and scholar de­bate.

Bank­ing: Fin­tech was the big­gest im­pact on the bank­ing sec­tor across the world, with a prom­ise to re­shape bank­ing dra­mat­i­cally and quickly. The progress is mod­er­ated by is­sues of com­pli­ance and gov­er­nance.

Look­ing at all the above, I see ethics as the big­gest un­der­ly­ing force in 2017, and I ex­pect this to con­tinue in 2018. Two is­sues in the fi­nan­cial sec­tor are closely aligned with ethics – they are com­pli­ance and gov­er­nance.

I think it is im­por­tant that we de­velop a deeper un­der­stand­ing and in­sights about ethics, com­pli­ance and gov­er­nance as we step into a year of hy­per in­no­va­tion. Man­ag­ing in­no­va­tion is far eas­ier than man­ag­ing ethics, com­pli­ance and gov­er­nance.

I would like to or­ga­nize a con­fer­ence that cov­ers these top­ics and I in­vite ev­ery­one who shares my en­thu­si­asm to sup­port this con­fer­ence by way of con­tent and spon­sor­ship.

I await your phone calls, emails and What­sApp mes­sages, and to meet you in per­son.

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