During the coronavirus pandemic, the financial services sector became something of an additional emergency service, helping customers manage their money during deeply worrying and uncertain times. It had to do this while its institutions were, themselves, massively disrupted. Branches closed and staff moved to working from home while, at the same time, enquiries and the need for financial products skyrocketed.

But while the periods of lockdown were challenging, they also opened up new opportunities for the sector. More hybrid working methods proved to be an effective way of managing human resources, innovations in remote working technologies moved from theoretical and experimental, to practical and permanent. Digital-first brands saw their approach validated, while legacy brands accelerated their transformation programmes.

This report examines the current status of the financial service industry’s digital adoption efforts, reviews the challenges that still stand in the way of a fully realised transformation, analyses how leaders in the sector are approaching those challenges and makes recommendations for next steps on the digital journey.