Asia's Financial Services Industry Expects 2010 To Be 'Year Of The Comeback'

Senior executives from financial services institutions in Asia/Pacific expect the industry to show strong performance in 2010. Based on a survey conducted with delegates of IDC Financial Insights' Asian Financial Services (AFS) Congress held in Singapore recently, 82% of the respondents are anticipating “medium to high growth” in revenues from the region’s banks and insurers, versus just 18% who are expecting “low growth”. None of the respondents are expecting declines. In all, 81 C-level delegates participated in the survey.


"The recent global financial crisis has pushed financial institutions to go back to basics, and forced them to look at the real drivers of sustainable growth in their organisations,"
comments Keith Lam, Associate Market Analyst of IDC Financial Insights Asia/Pacific. "With improvements made to their risk management systems and a better handle on cost, the region’s banks are well-positioned for growth in the near term.”


Organised by IDC Financial Insights Asia/Pacific, the annual AFS Congress brings together leading financial services industry practitioners from across the region into Singapore to discuss prospects for the industry in the year ahead. Now in its sixth year, this year's AFS Congress takes on the theme “Prescriptions For The Upturn" and is an important platform for industry leaders to meet and discuss strategies on how they can benefit from the economic revival.


At the congress, Cyrus Daruwala, Managing Director of IDC Financial Insights Asia/Pacific stated that financial services institutions in general have acted aggressively to blunt the adverse effects of the crisis. “While there are still risk issues ahead that can derail the recovery, banks and insurers have filled in the gaps within their organizations. These gaps, if not addressed, can prevent their ability to withstand additional pressures. The most forward-looking institutions have resolved issues concerning asymmetric information, organizational key performance indicators (KPI), as well as performance management,” says Daruwala.


In his keynote presentation, Ray Ferguson, Regional CEO, Singapore and South East Asia for Standard Chartered Bank stated that the economy this year is likely to be shaped by a few underlying themes. He adds the the difficulty with these themes are that some of them are actually moving in opposite directions and that may lead to a high degree of uncertainty. "How the world performs this year depends on the interaction between three things --- economic fundamentals, government policies and confidence," he notes.


Rowan D'Arcy, CEO of The Ayudhya Insurance, comments that in an environment where customers are shifting away from complicated products, banks and insurers alike could attain success by going back to basics.


Meanwhile, Yungky Setiawan, president and director of PT Bank Mega, stresses that the most effective and easiest way for banks to grow their business is by leveraging heavily on business synergies whenever possible to create value for their customers. "In the process of increasing their business, banks should always keep to high integrity and prudent business principle," says Yungky.

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