For the uninitiated, SIBOS is an annual conference organized by SWIFT for members of the global financial industry. It started out in 1978 (my birth year!) and due to the pandemic, last week SIBOS 2020, originally scheduled to take place in Boston, took place virtually instead.
The overarching theme this year was driving the evolution of smart finance, exploring how the financial industry can make better decisions using technology and data. Banks and financial service firms used to talk about money, interest rates, and products. These days discussions are all about technology and the role of banks in wider society. The event had three sub-themes:
- Delivering Digital Value
- Responsible Innovation
- Banking for Humanity
I was fortunate to participate in a thought provoking SIBOS panel entitled ‘The triple bottom line as a driver for sustainable business and a better world’ where we explored theincreasing importance of ESG and sustainability across the capital markets. Banks and financial services firms are now judged on new parameters such as non-financial measures such as their activities impacts on carbon emissions, their employee welfare, and their inclusion strategy. Profit and loss statements and balance sheet strength are no longer the sole measure of success in the industry.
I was also lucky to be invited to share my thoughts on “Environmental, social and governance and the Future of Banking” on SIBOS TV where I highlight some major universal themes across the banking industry including:
- Collaboration not Competition
- Centrality of partnership with trusted partners
- Shared Infrastructure
- White Labelling and modular outsourcing
- Digitization and smart technology including machine learning & artificial intelligence