Senior leaders within financial institutions in the UK have become more concerned about cyber security with most executives (70%) now prioritising it as an area for technology investment, according to a report from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.
The Financial Institutions Sentiment Survey, now in its fourth year, canvassed the views of more than 100 senior decision-makers at a broad range of organisations – from global banks and insurers to intermediaries, investors and asset managers – to explore the key themes shaping their sector.
The three most significant risks cited by survey respondents remained unchanged on last year, with the UK’s departure from the EU top (58%), followed by economic uncertainty (36%), and new regulation (31%).
Significantly, the risk posed by cybercrime (29%) has leapt from eighth place to fourth since 2018. Last year 46% of respondents said one of their firm’s top three technology investment strategies for 2018 was to improve cyber security, behind improving customer satisfaction (49%) and reducing operating costs (48%). In 2019, cyber security moves to top of the tech agenda and with greater prominence.
Is there an answer to the onslaught of cyber attacks faced by financial services firms?
“In 2019, firms are arguably more dependent than ever on technology. With this rapid advancement, the risks from cybercrime are increasing, placing extra pressure on financial institutions to change the way they operate,” said Robina Barker Bennett, MD, head of financial institutions, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.
Ian Bradbury, CTO, financial services, Fujitsu UK, commented: “Financial services leaders’ concerns about cyber security are warranted. As cybercriminals become increasingly sophisticated in how they carry out attacks, financial institutions are facing harsher scrutiny from not only consumers but also the government, about how they’re protecting peoples’ finances.
“The threat landscape is far more multifaceted than even five years ago, and organisations have often struggled to keep up; in fact, 44% of business leaders say they haven’t planned radically enough in the face of rapid technological and business changes.
“While technology has made payments easier for customers, organisations must ensure they are making the right investments in technology that will protect their finances and data. For example, one way of improving cyber security in financial services is through biometrics. Biometric technologies, such as palm vein authentication, provide a viable solution to preventing cyberthreats and fraud. Many organisations are looking at this technology as the best way to digitally transform their offerings, and it’s the type of radical planning that is needed to keep financial organisations a step ahead in cyber security and resilience.”