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Jonathan Shawcross, Managing Director of Banking, opens up his first edition of 'Banking Bites', bringing insight and perspectives from across the industry and colleagues at Gobeyond Partners. We’ll be encouraging debate and fresh perspectives as we continue to support leaders and their teams throughout the Coronavirus crisis.

A distinct phasing of response has emerged which we call the ‘crisis curve’ charting the cycles that banks are navigating now, and those that will emerge as the crisis unfolds, encompassing five key phases:

Covid cruve graph - 08 Linkedin MOBILE

Rapid crisis response
This was the initial period where the situation was escalating rapidly, with lockdowns first initiated. The key question for banks were “can I continue to manage my business as usual?”, whether that be opening offices branches, answering the phone and handling urgent customer enquiries.

Take back control
We have seen most organisations over the last month move successfully through this phase, getting on top of a new set of solutions for homeworking, running networks, keeping payments flowing, managing the business, customer queries, and colleagues successfully.

Business as unusual
This is where we see most banks and financial institutions today. While this is clearly a very unusual set of circumstances, organisations are beginning to settling into more of a drumbeat of understanding what it is to run their business through this evolving crisis and ensuring sustainability for the medium term.

Transition to new normal
Banks will begin to transition back to, and inhabit a 'new normal', a phrase, which we've been hearing a lot across the industry. Whatever this end’s up looking like, flexibility and pace will be valuable characteristics.

Crisis futureproofing
For future proofing against further crises that we may see, exploring and deeply understanding why responses to the current crisis felt, and indeed were more painful and difficult than perhaps they could have been will drive development of more robust operating models and bring business continuity planning to the forefront of debate.

Looking ahead to the future – what’s really important?

Interestingly for banks, unlike the last major global financial crisis back in 2008, they certainly won't be the villains of this piece, having played their role as key workers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As governments begin to step back and withdraw funding provision, banks will be expected to step in and support economic recovery as it falls back to the private sector, and the banking industry as a whole.

As banks look ahead and plan for the future, conversations with clients, partners and colleagues across our banking practice began to shine some light on some common themes that will play a huge role in how the future unfolds.

Over time, we’ll be exploring these themes in more detail; and how we are seeing and observing others tackle these major issues

1. Re-engaging people
As we have relied very heavily on people throughout the crisis, how do we ensure they are successfully back into different set of environments, and really made that work? This for us, is right at the heart of solving the challenges ahead

2. Moving forward with pace
As the need to evolve is more urgent than before, how are the actions we need to take both accelerated and focused in the right areas?

3. Developing greater agility
This crisis has brought about greater insight into how agile organisations really are. How can we improve the ability to respond to rapid changes alongside levels of high regulation?

4. Thinking differently
There has already been an abundance of different ways of thinking and great innovation during this period. How do organisations really embrace this, and deeply understand their customers and clients?

5. Reshaping the business
What are the changes that will be needed a business to adopt and adapt to the new environment in which we all; banks included will find ourselves in?

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Jonathan Shawcross, Managing Director, Banking

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