“An ever changing banking landscape”

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To take stock of all the unprecedented changes that have happened since March 2020, PwC Luxembourg has just launched, Banking in Luxembourg 2021 -  “An ever changing banking landscape ?”. The aim of the report is to look at the challenges and opportunities in detail and accompany bankers on a walk through the new landscape offering guidance and analysis.

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15/07/2021 |
  • Roxane Haas PwC Luxembourg (002)

With its unparalleled range of services, financial infrastructure and expertise, Luxembourg remains a financial global hub. However the banking sector has been going through a period of transformation for a number of years with technological disruption, growing awareness of climate change and the way to address it, and new ways of working. However everything was accelerated with the COVID-19 crisis and this has forced the banking sector to rethink, refocus and realign priorities even more.

It is a testimony to Luxembourg that around 70% to 80% of all workers at financial institutions were able to continue to work from home using their laptops and tablets and the banks were fully functional, as was the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF). This gives evidence to the agility and stability of the sector in this country. This remote working situation led financial institutions to reflect on how they operate on a daily basis and to innovate in the way they offer products, especially with the rise of digitisation, and the best fully digital experience to their clients. On the other hand, workers have now experienced new ways of working and a certain flexibility meaning that remote, even if only partial, is here to stay.

The home-based working situation in turn has greatly exposed financial institutions to new cyber threats. On the AML/CTF side, the period 2020/21 saw a wide range of emerging risks on a global scale, including the financial sectors’ abilities to implement Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing (AML/CTF) obligations from supervision, regulation and policy reform to suspicious transaction reporting and international cooperation. Both pre- and post-COVID-19, AML/ CTF related matters continue to be amongst the top priorities for Luxembourg regulators as well as for European and international authorities.

Of course, there is always a silver lining behind every cloud, and a major change is clearly the rise of ESG and the growing demand from customers to invest in green products. Banks not only need to adapt their product portfolio to this new, growing demand, but it has become mandatory for them to also keep up with the increasing regulatory pressure if they want to be sustainable in the long run. Banks have a responsibility towards the society as a whole and sustainable banking cannot and will not be averted.

Roxane Haas, Banking Leader at PwC Luxembourg said, “For a few years now, the global financial industry has been facing drastic changes with an increasingly complex regulatory context and the need to reinvent the Banking sector. Luxembourg has definitely not been spared by this revolution, all of this being accelerated by the COVID-19 crisis and its aftermath. The past 18-months have yet again proven the resilience of Luxembourg as a global financial centre. But now the time has come to embrace the many new challenges in order to transform them into business opportunities. This report looks at these opportunities in detail and aims to provide some much-needed guidance and analysis for the long way ahead. At PwC, as always, we look forward to walking you through these exciting and challenging opportunities.”

To read the full report go to “An ever changing banking landscape”.

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