SUERF/UniCredit Workshop on the Future of Retail Banking 2015 Vienna

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  • The European Money and Finance Forum (SUERF) and the UniCredit & Universities Foundation are kindly inviting you to participate in a Workshop on the Future of Retail Banking to be held on December 10, 2015 in Vienna, Austria.


    The banking industry currently faces powerful forces which are reshaping it fundamentally. The economic and financial crisis has triggered far-​reaching new regulation which forces banks to select and price their business more rigorously. Low interest rates put revenues under pressure and may also change saving and borrowing behaviour. Higher banking fees as an alternative to shrinking interest margins may in some cases be hard to implement in the face of competitive pressure. A number of banks were resolved, nationalised, taken over or merged as a result of the crisis.

    Cost pressures and a strategic rethinking of bank business models trigger further mergers and takeovers. Electronic and mobile banking are progressively being used and are fundamentally changing customer behaviour and banks’ relations with customers. Demographic change alters the relative weight and the profile of banks’ various target groups. A rising number of wealthy individuals with considerable financial sophistication open up new avenues for custom-​tailored wealth management.

    At the same time, cost-​effective customer services need to be shaped for all customer segments. Against this environment, banks will have to rethink their channels of distribution, business and operating models, generate radical and continuous innovation to bridge cost pressures with changing customer needs and the need not to lose touch with their customer base, while at the same time observing regulatory rules and managing risk wisely.

    3rd SUERF/​UniCredit & Universities Foundation Research Prize

    For the research prize we invite original research – theoretical or empirical, academic or policy-​oriented – on aspects relevant for banks’ retail business in the years to come. Some examples for fields of research are:

    • Implications for banks’ retail business from changing demographics, including ageing, wealth distribution, immigration
    • Implications for banks’ retail business from electronic and mobile banking – how to shape future customer relations
    • Innovation in banking: how can it shape the future of retail banking?
    • The future of physical bank branches
    • How might the quest for productivity affect retail banking, e.g. by weakening “relationship banking” and customer loyalty?
    • Implications for banks’ retail business from new regulatory constraints, including equity standards, liquidity ratios, the separation between traditional and investment banking etc.
    • How might evolving banking standards and culture change retail banking?
    • Retail banking, financial education and consumer protection – prospects and challenges
    • How will the growing importance of shadow banks affect banks’ retail business?
    • Is P2P lending a threat to the traditional banking model?
    • How will new entrants in the payments business (such as Google, Apple, …) alter traditional retail banking as banks lose their monopoly in the payments area?
    • Implications for banks’ retail business from mergers and acquisitions in banking
    • Implications for banks’ retail business from competitive and cost pressures
    • The future of banks’ retail credit business
    • The future of banks’ retail savings business
    • The future of banks’ securities and wealth management
    • Profitability of retail banking in an environment of ultra-​low interest rates and low interest margins
    • Should banks focus on banking business in a narrow sense or cross-​sell other products such as insurance, real estate?

    This list is non-​exhaustive, other contributions fitting into the overall topic of the call for papers are welcome.

    Formal Requirements and Procedure for Submissions

    The SUERF/​UniCredit & Universities Foundation Research Prize is open to authors and co-​authors who are citizens or residents/​students in the EEA, Switzerland, and other countries in which UniCredit is present (in addition to EEA countries, the latter also include Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine) and born after 30 September 1980.

    Prizes of EUR 5,000 gross will be awarded to up to two outstanding papers on topics related to “The future of retail banking”. The winning papers will be presented at a SUERF/​UniCredit & Universities Foundation Workshop. Subject to agreement by the authors, SUERF and the UniCredit & Universities Foundation the papers may be published on the organisers’ respective websites.

    Applications should be accompanied by brief curriculum vitae including the candidate’s date of birth and a copy of current identity documents that confirm the author’s/authors’ date of birth(s) and eligibility. The prize is open to papers that have been finalised within the last 12 months prior to the deadline for submissions. Full terms and conditions of entry can be downloaded from the SUERF and UniCredit & Universities Foundation websites.

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