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Incumbents struggling with pace of FinTech change

Anthony Jenkins speaks to Brett King at LendIt USA

Antony Jenkins speaks to Brett King at LendIt USA

Large financial institutions are struggling with the pace of change in an era of transformative technology, according to Antony Jenkins,  founder of 10x Future Technologies and former Barclays CEO.

“Why hasn’t technology changed banking? I asked myself that question at Barclays,” Jenkins told an audience at New York’s Lendit USA conference. “The problem [10x] is trying to solve is not that there aren’t smart, committed people in banks but that it’s very difficult for incumbents to transform themselves.”

The issue is both mechanical and cultural. The legacy banks are very used to doing things in a certain way, and it’s human nature to resist change. “It’s very rare in most industries to find incumbents who drive the next wave [of change].” Banks, he added, are weighed down by their technology and faced with huge costs just “to keep the lights on”, as well as a numbing in terms of regulatory changes thrown their way.

Jenkins, prompted by session moderator Brett King, Founder of Moven, had some praise for the developing economies of the world and their financial heavyweights. WeChat and TenCent have done “a fantastic job” in China. “There are lessons to be learned from the developing world,” but there are still possibilities in the developed world due to infrastructure inefficiency.

10x Future Technologie was designed with both the bank and the customer in mind, “Take out your phone and look at the two or three apps that you love,” said Jenkins. “Is your banking app among them? We think it should be.”

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