Strategic Challenges in the Financial Sector

Expert Briefing with Iron Mountain in Frankfurt am Main
Pictured above: Dr. Stephan Niermann (UBS Europe SE) and Professor Dr. Jürgen Moormann (Frankfurt School of Finance & Management)

On December 7th, Iron Mountain, together with AmCham Germany, organized an Expert Briefing in Frankfurt am Main on the topic “Strategic Challenges in the Financial Sector.”

Ralf Reich, Managing Director Germany & VP Northern Europe, and Iwona Sikora, Senior Vice President & GM, Records Management – Europe and South Africa of Iron Mountain, opened the briefing and welcomed the participants.

In his keynote, Professor Dr. Jürgen Moormann, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, discussed “the financial industry on the way to the digital society.” He described that a digital society is digital, resilient and sustainable. According to Professor Dr. Moormann, within these three areas, a digital society has several dimensions that interact with one another. Several actors play a role in these dimensions, such as the individual, company and society.

Professor Dr. Moormann emphasized in his presentation that information technology (IT) is the catalyst of a digital society. To support this statement, he demonstrated three examples within the three dimensions: Green IT (sustainability), cybercrime (resilience) and open finance (digitalization).

According to Professor Dr. Moormann, sustainability and de-carbonization are part of the digital society in the financial industry. Sustainability should not only be considered when creating digital devices, but also in software development. The financial industry must also become more resilient against cybercrime. In 2022 there were more than 130,000 crimes in Germany, and the financial industry is often the first to be attacked, leading to increasing spending on IT security. As part of the topic of open finance, Professor Dr. Moormann explained how platforms play an increasingly important role in digital society. Because of this, banks must develop customer-centric processes to compete with the ever-increasing number of platforms.

The keynote by Dr. Stephan Niermann, Head of Compliance UBS Europe SE, had the topic “Compliance risk management as a competitive factor?” Dr. Niermann emphasized that compliance is an integral part of risk management. For companies, compliance can lead to large expenses, but deeming compliance unimportant can be even more expensive for companies in the financial industry.

Dr. Niermann demonstrated that compliance for companies in the financial industry is part of a larger ecosystem. This ecosystem consists of several actors, such as clients, shareholders and the management body as well as external auditors, regulators and enforcement agencies. He emphasized that compliance in the financial industry must be proportional, comprehensive, effective and efficient.

Data and the use of modern technology are also important for companies in the financial sector. These companies need to understand and optimize data consumption and implement new technologies for data monitoring and reporting. Their decision-making must be “risk-informed” and they must mitigate risks early on.

Lastly, Dr. Niermann mentioned the approaches to dealing with ESG. Compliance plays an important role in managing ESG-related regulatory risks within banks.

For more detailed information please contact:

Solina Jean-Louis

Specialist, Membership Engagement & Development