Jameel Khan, Financial Services Management Consulting Lead, KPMG in Bahrain, led a panel discussion on ‘Business and Operational Transformation: Improving Performance and Profitability’ on the first day of the World Islamic Banking Conference, which was held 4th - 5th December 2013 at the Gulf Hotel.
The panel discussed the complex operating environment in which banks have to navigate difficult macro-economic conditions, increasing regulation, stiff competition and continue to serve customers with value for money products and services. The discussion centered on what opportunities banks have to address these challenges.
Developments in banking technology, efficient processes and organisational design are allowing banks to turn these challenges into competitive advantage.
Islamic Financial Institutions have to deal with an added level of complexity and control in bringing Shar’iah compliant products to market – they typically operate on higher cost bases and consequently elevated cost to income ratios compared to conventional banks.
By capitalising on innovations in the industry, banks have an opportunity to introduce new product offerings, save costs, improve their return on equity and deliver a better service to customers. Innovations in mobile banking is a good example of this – making it much easier for customers to meet their everyday banking needs whilst allowing banks to review the scale of their branch networks – typically a very expensive aspect of a retail banking cost base.