Adapting to technology change in financial services | How CEOs and CIOs are reacting to FinTech disruption

Technology leaders in financial services are being challenged by the fast pace of technology change, but they are also able to see the opportunities opening up. As JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon emphasised in his now infamous 2015 CEO letter to shareholders: Silicon Valley is coming.

Dimon didn’t wait for new fintech firms to disrupt the business but took the fight to them. In 2015 he set aside a tech budget of more than $9 billion and his 2016 CEO letter detailed the strategic importance of innovating. As CEOs continue to recognise the importance of disruption CIOs will come more significant in helping shape this agenda going forward. The CIO’s knowledge and expertise across the business will be vital in providing an understand of how best to adapt to this change in financial services.

While change is possible for large financial services organisations, it is also extremely difficult. Many leaders in financial services organisations want to drive this technological change and see it as an opportunity for growth, but face a number of challenges.

Finding talent

The age old problem of finding the right talent to drive technological change is key within banking and financial services. In order to attract the right talent to your organisation, you may have to change the way talent is found. This evolution puts greater emphasis on the role leaders can play as recruiters through advocacy. Every talk, every conference and every media piece positions leaders as advocates of the brand. In addition it is important to remember that the right challenge will attract the right talent.

The companies that hire the best talent will in turn be able to build better products and services for their customers and business – and effectively adapt faster to change.

Nurturing partnerships

Finding the right technology partner can take time and the old saying that nobody got fired for buying (X big tech provider) can mean that the temptation to go with the same solution persists. However the growing number of fintech companies is giving financial services a greater opportunity to build better products that their clients want – and often much faster.

Conducting deeper research into available vendors will allow partnerships to flourish across finance and technology. Yes smaller players need to adapt to work with larger financial services companies but procuring from smaller companies is a key part of keeping up with the technological change. HSBC is one large incumbent bank actively engaging with technology leaders, recently announcing its technology strategy board.

Adapting to regulation

Regulation across financial services provides another opportunity to drive change within an organisation using technology. From the incoming Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) across Europe and the open banking standards in the UK, financial services companies need tools to help them move faster to solve their compliance challenges. Solving regulatory challenges in cost-effective and secure ways is vital. Adapting to an increasingly complex regulatory environment creates an opportunity if implemented well.

Change is hard and financial services companies will need to continue to evolve in a fast-changing business environment. With the right talent, partnerships and organisational input, success is possible. How each leader seeks to adapt to this change will separate the winners from the losers.


Yesterday, I attended the speech of Andrew Mitchell at Oxfam’s 21st Century Aid report launch event, at the Royal Society in London. Here is a link to some of his main points. He also answered some of the questions posed to him by OXFAM supporters. One of which was my own focused on awareness raising. My concern was about who is expected to fill the gap and continue in increasing the knowledge of the British public regarding understanding development issues in a holistic way? Is it not the governments role to help improve knowledge through effective awareness raising to increase the understanding of where tax payers money is going and being spent? £55,000 has been cut from music stalls at festivals, this is an avenue for many young people to get a better understanding of development issues, which is equally as important for a holistic approach to aid and development. Here is his response:

Development awareness is important. It was a DFID scheme Platform 2 which helps increase awareness that allowed me to get a better understanding of development issues first hand. It is important that something fills the gap for awareness raising as how is the tax payer meant to understand where their money is going without the information and knowledge to do so properly.

OXFAM Tea Party

We all know that a lot of hip people are moving east these days. Well Oxfam have set up an East London Oxfam Campaigning Group in order to foster more involvement in the loving East End. Come along to the Tea Party on the 6th of June at Tina We Salute You @ 5-8pm and have some cake and tea and soak up the fun atmosphere. See you there!!!

p.s The next meeting will be on Monday 14 June from 7-8pm at the Gallery Cafe in

Bethnal Green.

The Oxfam Curiosity Shop

For all you Londoners that love and want a little bit of celebrity in your life, OXFAM is giving you the chance.  Selfridges and OXFAM have teamed up to create the largest charity pop-up shop. The Oxfam Curiosity Shop is a great idea, and it is only around between the 14th – 20th of May 2010.


There is also an online auction with items and prizes from the likes of Beyonce, Alexa Chung to Lady Gaga. So pop down and see what you can pick up!

A shining example

Undergraduate, Rose Melissa Ilboudo 24, has been announced winner of the British Councils International Student Awards, ‘Shine! 2010’. The awards, were hosted in London on April 21 by BBC presenter Konnie Huq, and saw Melissa presented with her prize. Melissa  was one of 1,300 students, from 120 countries who entered the prestigious awards. Her time at the University of East Anglia has seen her help raise more than £200,000 for her home country alongside Christian Aid, attend the Copenhagen Conference as a delegate for Burkina Faso, and even meet President Obama. Melissa; who is in her third year of a degree in International Development, was shortlisted for the final stage of the awards after submitting a letter to her uncle which described her time as a UEA student.

Christine Bateman who represented the British Council on the final judging panel said: “All of the judges were inspired by Melissa’s story. It is always humbling to hear how students have used the opportunities presented to them by their time studying in the UK to help bring about positive benefits for their communities, either here in the UK or back home. Melissa’s own story is particularly so, having arrived in the UK with very little English and having worked so hard to campaign successfully for Burkina Faso . She is justly proud of her country, and her country has reason to be equally proud of her. She is a shining ambassador.”

When asked of the influence the award had on her,  Melissa said it “highly influenced my life, I am even more determined today to continue. When something unexpected happens it makes you realise that indeed nothing is impossible”. Ben Jones, Melissa’s academic advisor spoke about her achievements and what it meant for the DEV: “What struck me most about the awards ceremony was the modesty, thoughtfulness and generosity of spirit with which Melissa accepted the award.  Melissa is a real credit to the school, the university and the community of international students who choose to study in the UK.

Melissa is an example of an international student who has truly embraced her experience in the UK. The recognition gained through the Shine! award is well deserved and shows the importance of international students contributions within the UK. Well done and keep up the great work Mel :).

Knowledge is power

The Lost Libraries of Timbuktu BBC4  documentary shows Aminatta Forna‘s journey to Timbuktu in Mali, to research the deep literature and manuscripts. The history of Timbuktu over the centuries shows the importance of scholarship and the power of knowledge. This is not a history which is commonly known. This programme shows a side of African history which is sadly not shown through much of the mainstream media. Take some time to understand the beauty of African history.

All history is up for interpretation and there is only so much we can learn in school. The power to research and gain knowledge on a personal level is is up to the individual, so take the time to do so as it allows ones mind to grow.


I have finally been able to work out how to use many of the features and so this blog is a work in progress. I am leaving to go and start the Platform 2 Project in Ghana for 10 weeks :). So I will try and update the the Platform 2 page as much as possible, however internet access may only be once a week.

When I get back I will be able to upload pictures, however I do not think I can while I am over in Ghana. I am looking forward to the trip as I know it will be invaluable experience.

Kids from GVS
Kids from GVS

Good luck to everyone doing Development Work Experience or Study Aboard and take care but have fun.

Bye for now



A progressive week to start with as Obama was in Ghana this weekend. I am glad he chose Ghana, but the fact that he is in Africa means, his messages are for us all around the world.

I shall start to piece this all together as soon as possible. I need a bit of time to get the hang of it all :).