5 Lessons for Leaders of Financial Services in Scotland

February 11, 2020

Carlyle were delighted to host leaders from across Scotland’s Financial Services landscape in the last of our 2019 Breakfast Club Series. 

We asked our members to review the year and articulate the themes that were front of mind for them in 2019. The following key themes emerged from the discussion:

1.      Talent & Creativity

The question can be asked as to ‘How do Scottish businesses stay relevant and successful when geography dictates that is both difficult to retain and hire the best?’ Against this background it was felt that banks need to be more creative and bring in key players from other industries.

2.      ESG (Environmental & Social Governance)

Many observed this as a key theme of 2019 and one that will become more dominant in 2020. How will businesses truly embed ESG within culture and strategy? Are Board’s equipped to drive this agenda?

3.      Cyber Attacks

This represents a huge issue now and in the future. Criminals are increasingly targeting Data as the Hostage. Many businesses currently are just not prepared or educated to face this risk.

4.      Senior Managers Regime

Regulation is clearly necessary but penalties can be draconian and executives who have done nothing wrong are often hauled over the coals by the FCA. Many individuals in key regulated roles are considering whether the liabilities and responsibilities are too onerous. There have been several instances of key executives retiring earlier or declining roles due to perceived regulatory risk. How do you keep a collegiate and fast paced innovative culture when regulation often impedes this?

5.      Emerging Threats to Traditional Banks

There is a clear and present danger to traditional banks from the likes of Google, Facebook and Amazon. Disruption to the banking industry has been prevalent for several years now with the rise of digital-based platforms for personal and business use. Are traditional banks of the past doing enough to keep up with these disruptive competitors or sitting tight and not being progressive.

Looking to 2020 it is crucial to consider these questions and issues to remain competitive and relevant in the Financial Services landscape in Scotland. Our future Breakfast Club series will continue to address these issues and provide thought leadership in this arena.

“We are thrilled to see how far the Breakfast Club has come over the past year, with the calibre of individuals attending and the wonderful feedback we’ve received it has been an incredibly encouraging end to 2019. We would like to thank everyone who has attended the Breakfast Club to date and we look forward to see what 2020 will bring in regards to the discussion topics and new connections to be made at each of our upcoming events.”

Carol-Ann Searles, Managing Partner.

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