Leda Writes for Fintech Futures: Banking on the verge of a nervous breakdown

Dr Leda Glyptis 11:FS Foundry CEO
5min read

Every Thursday, Leda Glyptis, 11:FS Chief of Staff creates #LedaWrites. This week she turns her attention to holding your breath, repetitive messages and the end of the world.

10 years is a long time to hold your breath and the banking industry as a whole has been holding our collective breath for a lot longer than that. “Change is the new normal” was put on Powerpoint decks and felt truly insightful to today, billions have been spent, a lot has been done. Despite this, not much has changed.

Now project that sentiment across the industry and contemplate about the waste. A lot has changed on the surface, new people, new attitudes and new systems. But we still make money the same way, we promote and reward the same way. And the chat’s the same too.

It hasn’t changed for a decade. We have not achieved much but we have spent a lot of money and time trying to transform.

The script is not changing, but the tone is getting frantic. We are squeezed and exhausted and it might just be the end of the world. New technology and associated regulations have been pointing to a radical overhaul of your business model for a while now.

New ways of making money and supporting business, new talent, new practices. We know it’s coming. You resist, but it’s coming anyway. So yes, it is the end of the world as we know it, in a sense.

Hence the doomsday scenarios of zero sum confrontations, bankers looking for the startup that will take them out or save them missing both the fact that no single player will emerge as a winner and that there’s no easy solution.

It’s doomsday. If your version of doomsday is having to reflect, decide, commit and deliver. It’s the end of the world as you know it.

Except it isn’t, Banks still exist. They even stockpiled some resources, have their fintech partnerships, apps “powered by” and feature parity with what the cool kids did last. It’s the same old story plus APIs.

I don’t think much will change in 20 years. Not enough has changed in the past 20 and that’s because the people who have to do the changing are the ones in charge. And that dictates pace, if not direction. There’s a restaurant at the end of the world with plenty on offer.

The intensity of the last few years has to go. We need to accept that the levels of profitability we were used to were awesome but not guaranteed and the party is over. A new party will start and that matters more than being sad the other party ended.

We need to accept that some of the cake will now be eaten by others, systems we laboured over will be grandfathered and stuff we don’t understand will become important.

Accept it and stop fearing it because it’s already happened.

Read the full story on Fintech Futures.