PwC’s 22nd Annual Global CEO Survey

The CEO's view in financial services

Working hard and smart to succeed in a tougher environment

Financial services companies are slightly less enthusiastic about the outlook for economic and revenue growth than in recent years. But they’re combining technology, people and agile approaches to boost productivity and improve their prospects.

Growth prospects

The financial services (FS) CEOs were slightly less confident overall about prospects of global economic growth prospects than in recent years. The vast majority expect growth to improve moderately, stay the same or decline moderately.

It’s a similar story when it comes to their company’s own revenue growth prospects: the bulk of respondents are either very or somewhat confident of revenue growth over both one and three years.

Addressing the skill gap

There are interesting findings with regard to the workforce. Most respondents expect their headcount to increase moderately or stay the same over the next year, but a sizeable majority are finding it harder to hire the talent they need to succeed in a digital world. They see a skills gap emerging because of a deficit in the supply of skilled workers. Many see significant retraining or upskilling their current workforce as their main approach to closing this skills gap.

Harnessing artificial intelligence

On the other side of the people and technology equation, the huge majority of FS CEOs agree that artificial intelligence (AI) will significantly change the way they do business. While more than one third plan to start introducing AI initiatives over the next three years, a sizeable proportion have no plans to do so. Very few companies have extensive AI initiatives in place, and many of those that have introduced AI have only done so for limited uses.

Drilling deeper

Interesting as the overall results are, it’s when you look at the detailed quantitative and qualitative findings in each of the three segments that things get really fascinating. Drilling deeper reveals the similarities and differences in the challenges facing these different segments and the ways they’re coming up with to tackle them.

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Thomas Romer

Thomas Romer

Partner, Assurance, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 58 792 24 26

Jean-Sébastien Lassonde

Jean-Sébastien Lassonde

Partner Assurance, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 58 792 81 46