What’s holding back your banking strategy?

John Epperson, Thomas W. Grottke
| 8/3/2022
What’s holding back your banking strategy?

Success in banking doesn’t necessarily come on the heels of every new trend. In fact, following the herd to the latest markets can lead to problems if organizations have no plan for entry and commitment in that space.

Even with eyes on the future, long-term banking strategies that aren’t based on capabilities can mean lost buy-in, capital, and sustainability. When only so much can be dedicated to new goals, how can banks be confident they’re making the right moves?

Your strengths today can inform where your banking strategy should lead

Your strengths today can inform where your banking strategy should lead

Setting a clear and cohesive vision is a good start, but it doesn’t replace developing a coherent strategy. Experience, research, and advisers can prevent banks from chasing the next big thing that could turn out to be a failure. An informed approach can also help banks communicate clearly, interpret market feedback, and reconsider unnecessary investments.

Following a carefully considered, comprehensive, and strategic process, banks can take the following steps to develop their next major initiative.

1. Define what success means for you

Define what success means for you

Organizations need to decide where to set their benchmarks and how they define their victories. Outlining goals for growth, profitability, and position in the market helps provide yardsticks.

Measuring progress with specific, agreed-upon definitions also makes it easier to communicate progress and success to stakeholders, employees, and customers.

2. Measure your plan’s viability

Measure your plan’s viability

Risk mitigation, compliance controls, and strong governance for evolving markets must start within the organization. Banks that hope their operations are good enough or that look to third-party vendors for all the answers can end up with unstable, unscalable operations.

Taking charge of the plan’s details provides visibility on where adjustments can help in the long term. Examples of steps banks can take include:

  • Identifying and updating priorities
  • Repositioning existing operations
  • Aligning roles and responsibilities for the long term

3. Understand what’s possible in your target markets

Understand what’s possible in your target markets

High-quality products and services might not be enough to win customers. In addition to setting a high bar for quality, organizations must understand customer segments, relevant industry trends, and facets of delivery channels.

It’s also important to remember that revenue is a critical element of sustainable operations. Ideas can set banks apart, but even brilliant products and services can fail to generate profitable growth when misplaced in the market.

4. Deliver an option that shows your uniqueness

Deliver an option that shows your uniqueness

To banking customers, one product can easily look like the next. Banks need to find a unique place to gain a competitive edge beyond the underlying quality and aggressive promotion of their offerings.

Finding room for profitable growth means spotting the intersection between the competition and the bank’s capabilities and where market need and acceptance exists.

5. Chart your course while keeping execution in mind

Chart your course while keeping execution in mind

The finishing touch to a viable banking strategy is deciding how to implement that strategy and achieve your goals. Banks should evaluate their operations and determine what existing capabilities can help execute the strategy, what new programs they require, and when to sunset current investments that are not paying off.

Every step can prove challenging, and sometimes, it’s hard to know whether your organization is on the right track. That’s why it’s good to have a seasoned adviser. A guiding hand can help identify the right answers for your operations, challenge groupthink, and provide perspective.

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Crowe can help you write your success story

We’ve helped many banking clients along their journey. Now we’re ready to use our experience and deep specialization to help you. We can work with you to translate your vision into a comprehensive banking strategy for sustainable growth.
John Epperson
John Epperson
Managing Principal, Financial Services
Thomas Grottke
Thomas W. Grottke
Managing Director, Financial Services Consulting