How Banking and Financial Services can Respond to Covid-19

How Banking and Financial Services can Respond to Covid-19

Kristina Lekås

Kristina Lekås,

Banking and financial services institutions (FIs) can play a vital role helping businesses and individuals manage the fiscal consequences of sheltering in place and national lockdowns.

FIs can take immediate measures to maintain business continuity and service delivery. A primary measure is to ensure employee health and safety, and also to iterate on new working models as employees start collaborating in virtual teams. 

Some of these initiatives are immediate while others are likely to outlast the virus and become new norms, as they address general crises in a more preventive manner: 

  • Address global security and compliance requirements. Coordinate coronavirus responses across all international locations, including operations and IT support. Collaborate with clients using updated nondisclosure agreements, ensure remote workers can access data, and control that their laptops meet security requirements. 
  • Communicate early and often. Ensure stakeholders understand what steps you undertake to secure their assets and maintain business. And address concerns directly; access to cash, ability to complete trades, etc.
  • Distribute the disaster recovery infrastructure. Contingency plans for swiftly upscaling work from home or using smaller facilities may be the way forward, not only now but also for future crises. 5G technologies should greatly boost connectivity and speed.
  • Build data analytics and software engineering capabilities. Making capabilities relying on software engineering principles (eg. building cloud-native apps or modernizing legacy apps for digital) a priority isn’t only about surviving right now, but also about competing with other organizations that use these capabilities to offer superior customer services. 
  • Rethink cost structures. Organizations lately have trended toward captive operations. Now, they must cope with the sunk and fixed costs of these, no matter what the market does. Greater flexibility in how contextual vs. core services are sourced leads to better market responsiveness, and leaves cash to reinvest in services innovation. 


Ultimately, these and a handful other responses can help serve all stakeholders – customers, partners and employees. Technology and operations decisions require precision focus on “people” needs. Organizations that excel here will better weather this crisis and gain valuable insights and experiences to apply going forward. 

For more information, check out our Covid-19 response page.

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