Have banks already been disrupted?


Banks used to be the corner stone of the community but today despite spending over £200 billion on transformation they are still being undermined by a series of unstoppable cultural and technological revolutions

Over the past two weeks I’ve talked to a number of senior C level executives from some of the UK’s largest retail banks to understand more about their views of the world and their perception of the market and while outwardly little looks like its changing at the Big Five banks their executives are not sitting comfortably. There were two quotes that stood out for me and they were “My children don’t see Banks as a brand any longer” and “ We’re at risk of being turned into dumb pipes”. I’ll hasten to add that both of these quotes were from executives from two different banks but they both conveniently capture two paradigm shifts that could accelerate the decline of the industry as we know it.


Apathetic? No, I just can’t be bothered

On the one hand you have a growing apathy and disenchantment towards the banks which of course hasn’t been helped by the recent LIBOR, PPI, Forex or Bank Charge scandals. Many people I speak to feel the banks have forgotten their role in our lives – to help us grow our savings pots, not take more from us in charges than we make in interest in ten years and to help us make our money go further, not just hail new mobile banking apps as the next great innovation when they should simply form part of an overall consumer service improvement strategy.

Monetising the Internet of Everything

This cultural malaise and general discontent with the existing industry status quo is ‘The Why’ people will look for alternatives but if all banks have similar reputations then consumers are simply trading ‘Bad’ for ‘Not as bad’. Consequently, just as we’ve seen in the Energy and Utility sectors people are more often than not predisposed to stick with the devil they know.



Every industry is undergoing some level of disruption and for some its more extreme and happening faster than others. Organisations need to review and adapt their technology, culture and business practises and become ‘Future Fit’. Today no organisation has the right to exist, they have to earn the right to exist by serving their customers needs better.

About author

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, described as “The Adviser behind the Advisers” and a “Young Kurzweil,” is the founder and CEO of the World Futures Forum and the 311 Institute, a global Futures and Deep Futures consultancy working between the dates of 2020 to 2070, and is an award winning futurist, and author of “Codex of the Future” series. Regularly featured in the global media, including AP, BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, Discovery, RT, Viacom, and WIRED, Matthew’s ability to identify, track, and explain the impacts of hundreds of revolutionary emerging technologies on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past six years as one of the world’s foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments, investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive, sustainable future. A rare talent Matthew’s recent work includes mentoring Lunar XPrize teams, re-envisioning global education and training with the G20, and helping the world’s largest organisations envision and ideate the future of their products and services, industries, and countries. Matthew's clients include three Prime Ministers and several governments, including the G7, Accenture, Aon, Bain & Co, BCG, Credit Suisse, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, E&Y, GEMS, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Lego, McKinsey, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Samsung, Sopra Steria, T-Mobile, and many more.