In banking, is purpose possible?

Purpose-driven banks prioritise building trusted relationships with their clients so that they can understand, and serve, them better. Is it achievable or idealistic?

01 March 2024

Shenin Singh, Absa

A recent Accenture report asks: “Is banking about to have its electric car moment?” With this comparison, the professional services firm is suggesting that banking sector incumbents could very quickly lose ground to the pioneering innovations that bring the latest technologies and a strong sense of purpose to the table. But is purpose really important when it comes to banking?

Belinda Rathogwa, head of digital and e-commerce for personal and private banking clients at Standard Bank, describes purpose-driven banking as a modern competitive advantage. “In a world where everyone is offering high service levels and the latest digital platforms, a purpose-driven strategy can easily become a differentiator.” Innocent Dutiro, financial services lead at Accenture, agrees. “The shift towards purpose-driven banking helps banks differentiate themselves in a saturated retail banking landscape,” he says.

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