Page 10 - Demo
P. 10

               SEPTEMBER 2020
PAGES 10-11
How the
pandemic
changed
banking
Covid-19 forced the Big Six to improve
a perennial sore point in the Report Card on Banks: Technology
PAGE 10
      n BY FIONA COLLIE
if investment executive’s
(IE) annual Report Card on Banks has shown one thing over the years, it’s that financial advisors expect much from their firms when it comes to technol- ogy. As the Covid-19 lockdown hit Canada in mid-March, tech- nology became a key part of how the banks ensured their advisors remained safe while continuing to serve clients.
“The biggest concern [for advisors] as we go through [the pandemic] is how can we adapt so we can deal with what we call ‘the new normal,’” says Peter Lee, exec- utive vice president of banking centres at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) in Toronto. “That’s everything from work from home to interactions with clients to making sure [advisors have] the right tools and supports in place.”
Like the banks, IE had to adjust its operations over the past year. We revised the man- ner in which we gathered data for our annual sentiment survey.
IE spoke with executives from Canada’s Big Six banks to get a sense of the year’s developments instead of speaking with the financial planners and advisors who work in the banks’ branches as we would normally.
Executives pointed to some continuity between this year and previous Report Cards: the importance of technology. For years, advisors have praised or berated their firms for how well they’ve kept their desktop and mobile technology up to date. The “technology tools and advisor desktop” category has one of the highest satisfaction gaps in the survey year after year: the cat- egory had an overall perform- ance rating of 7.0 in 2019 and an importance rating of 9.3, creating a satisfaction gap of 2.3. In 2018, the satisfaction gap was 2.1.
rating of 7.8 for both perform- ance and importance. In 2018, the same category had a satis- faction gap of 0.6.
Technology has played a key part in keeping businesses run- ning throughout the lockdown, with banks accelerating technol- ogy rollouts and investment.
CIBC and Montreal-based National Bank of Canada, along with Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and TD Financial Planning (both based in Toronto), had already rolled out remote access — to varying degrees — prior to the pandemic.
lockdown began in mid-March was a “soft” phone system that runs through a planner’s com- puter, which the bank did within 10 days.
RBC’s financial planners were already using an online tool called MyAdvisor, which includes video conferencing and e-signatures, but they began using it even more as the lock- down began in March.
RBC planners mentioned
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 Firms seemed to hit the mark last year regarding mobile tech- nology, when the category “sup-
For example, Toronto-based Bank of Montreal (BMO) intro- duced processes to allow for remote client instructions
“Thank God our planners were ready to work remotely,” says Nancy Paquet, senior vice president, strategy, savings and investment, retail, National Bank.
INVESTMENT EXECUTIVE
port for mobile technology and via telephone calls, as well as One thing National Bank had
the mobile advisor” received a e-signatures. to set up for its clients when the
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