CFO position holds massive potential for lagging banks, says Bain

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CFO position holds massive potential for lagging banks, says Bain

Pandemic fuelled digital transformation has forced many organisations to incorporate and rely on data and data systems — an area where banks often lag

The spread of data ownership and management across departments and functions further complicates the problem, with many banks yet to capitalise on a data-led operating model, poised to change the role of finance functions.

An article by Bain and Co. titled “Banks’ Missing Data Champion: The CFO”, by authors Markus Habbel, Christian Westermann, Steve Beam, Pam Yee, and Claudio Sorgente, highlights the potential of providing the CFO and finance group with more insights into metrics and performance data.

“A key ingredient for [transformation] is the integration and sharing of data that forms the basis for powerful insights. Better insights lead to better decisions, whether strategic or operational,” the authors say.

Bain and Co. highlights three primary reasons as to why banks are lagging in the area of effective data implementation.

  • Poor data integration
  • Inconsistent data
  • Inefficient data usage

The role of the CFO as a “guardian of data” put forward by Bain and Co., positions the finance function so that it can break down silos and advise business units in the prioritisation of data initiatives.

According to Bain by arming the CFO and finance department with access to company-wide data, analytics, and data science skills will see improvements in business execution, forecasting and profitability.

Further, by working cooperatively with the chief data officer, the CFO will be able to oversee large scale initiatives  critical as banks develop their digital customer experience.

“Bank CFOs can take a lesson from other industries by strengthening their alliance with the CDO and by offering support to, participation in, or co-steering of data initiatives run in individual business lines,” the article says.

“An integrated approach to data will be crucial to providing business planning and steering, optimising operations, tapping more cross-selling opportunities, and giving customers fast, convenient access to useful insights in their own accounts.”

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