Antony Jenkins thinks that banking is having an "Uber" moment, undergoing a transformation that will leave the sector looking entirely unrecognisable.
Jenkins, who is currently chairman of Business in the Community and was previously group chief executive of Barclays, imparted his wisdom at an event hosted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales this evening, remarking "there is no doubt that banking will look very different over the next two decades".
Taking a gaze into his figurative crystal ball, here's six ways Jenkins told the audience that banking would change in the not-so-distant future:
There will be a lot less bankers
Jenkins pointed out that, although advances in technology would create jobs we couldn't even imagine at the moment, an "even larger number of jobs" would be automated, and banking was not immune.
Banks will be forced to take on automation to cut costs
According to the former Barclays bosses, current market conditions are making it difficult for banks to significantly boost their revenues. Therefore, to hike bottom lines and meet increasingly strict capital requirements, banks would be pushed to slash costs instead and, thanks to technology, a key way to do this would be through automation.
Culture issues will be taken more seriously
Throughout his time in the banking sector, Jenkins remarked that "the vast majority of (the people he met) want to do the right thing but the systems that they operated in didn't always support that". However, he added that a positive culture would still need to be paired with sufficient checks and compliance measures to deter those who were really determined to be bad apples.
Power will be returned to the consumer
"We're beginning to see a shift in customer behaviour," said Jenkins. He pointed out that the adoption of mobile banking was at least in part driven by consumer demands, with consumers checking in through mobile banking apps around 30 times per month. He also noted that, as people get more savvy about how their personal data is being used, they may start to put their foot down about what information they were, and were not, happy with their financial services providers having.
Business failure will be something we'll get used to…
Jenkins accepted that not all of the firms set up to do something innovative in the banking arena would survive. However, he added: "Some of them will and some of them will finally crack the code of how to make a better customer experience."
…and some of the current banking giants will not be exempt
Never mind an Uber moment: Jenkins believes that some of the current old guard will have a Kodak or Nokia moment, where they fail to recognise how times are changing and, therefore, fail to adapt accordingly. He remarked that many businesses would suffer from being frozen by the fear of trying something different, comparing it with the feeling that many people had when it was first suggested they might want to start storing data in the cloud. However, he added that it was "unlikely that we'd see the mass extinction of banks".
Jenkins was dramatically dropped from his role at Barclays last year, after three years heading up the bank. He was frequently described as the nicest man in banking.