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Blind Spot

How finance can lead the way in the customer-centric bank


For today’s banks, becoming more customer-centric isn’t just a feel-good mantra, it’s a core business requirement. Whether the challenge is increased regulatory pressure, consolidation, cost pressures, rapidly shifting consumer trends – or, more likely, all of the above – a customer-centric focus can play an instrumental role in staying a step ahead of the competition. It can help grow revenues, improve reputation and drive performance. So what’s the finance team doing about it today?

While sales, marketing and customer service are clearly important areas that can help propel the customer-centric strategy, they can only be part of the solution. It will require finance to make that fundamental shift away from a product-focused mindset to a customer-led strategy for banks, because it’s the group better positioned to influence the behavior of virtually every part of the bank. Although finance is recognized as a logical catalyst for change, maintaining and enforcing customer-centricity isn’t a focus for many bank chief financial officers (CFOs) and finance executives – in fact, it’s a blind spot. The good news is that in many cases they are responsible for owning one of the most desirable tools for enabling a customer-centric perspective, the planning, budgeting and forecasting process. An augmented planning, budgeting and forecasting process can help measure how far banks have travelled and how much further they need to go to reach their customer-oriented objectives.

In this article, we’ll offer insights on how finance executives can use this fundamental tool to make the transformation to a customer-centric strategy.

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