The finance industry is undergoing a period of significant change, which affects all levels all the way down to the consumer. Swift changes in the industry continued in 2012.
Traditionally the finance industry has been seen as a stable, conservative and predictable sector. The last few years, however, have proved this image to be out of date. Swift structural changes continued in the industry in 2012. Uncertainty spreading from the EU member states in need of economic assistance and the aftermaths of the financial crisis had a negative effect on stock prices, and the Eurozone interest rates fell to record lows.
In addition to these factors, the year was characterised by new regulatory moves in the industry. The Solvency II initiative, which will regulate the solvency of insurance companies from 2014 onwards, progressed, as did the similar Basel III in banking (to take effect in 2013–2019). Several new reporting and control requirements came into effect in the capital markets. Transaction taxes and deposit insurance payments received plenty of media attention, although the worst threats related to these aspects of the financial markets seem to have dissipated.
Many private individuals have felt the effects of the changes in the financial sector, for instance in the form of rising loan margins. In the future, new regulations will be visible to consumers in measures such as increased information requirements and customer classification responsibilities for the service provider.
Multichannel banking and investment has become commonplace and service providers have responded to this demand. Development of new multichannel consumer solutions that bring competitive advantages for financial operators continues at an ever faster pace.
The changes in the finance industry have lowered operators’ revenues and increased expenses, which has led to a need to cut costs. This has been evident in exceptionally extensive redundancy negotiations and the consolidation of operators in the capital markets.
Digia is a partner for financial institutions, insurance companies, fund management companies and asset managers in the Nordic finance industry. The company has responded to the current challenges in the sector by keeping an eye on official regulations and developing its solutions accordingly. Digia has strongly emphasised product development, responding to its customers’ cost-reduction pressures with measures such as new productised portal and mobile solutions. The company has helped customers increase their productivity by utilising its usability expertise and creating modern user interfaces. Digia is also an integration partner to an increasing number of operators in the financial industry.