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European Financial Services Companies Must Close the Gap Between Vision and Execution in their Digital Strategies, According to Accenture Study

LONDON, May 05, 2016 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Major European banks and insurance companies are ready to embrace digital technologies, but they are nearly 50 percent more effective in identifying the value of innovations than actually applying them to streamline their businesses, according to an Accenture ACN, +0.22% analysis of 53 institutions in the continent’s five largest economies.

Accenture’s “European Financial Services Digital Readiness Index” found that – on a scale of one (basic level) to four (best practice) – major banks and insurers across UK, Italy, Germany, Spain and France scored an average of 3.15 for recognizing the importance of digital as part of their strategy and only 2.10 for their progress in actually using digital solutions to streamline activities.

The index, which is designed to reflect customer and investor perceptions, is based on publicly available information, such as annual reports, websites and news releases, and uses more than 100 metrics for evaluation.

“Digital is universally embraced by financial institutions in Europe but inconsistently executed,” said Sushil Saluja, senior managing director of Accenture’s Financial Services group in Europe, Africa and Latin America. “Our new index, which provides a benchmark for digital readiness, tells a story of an industry that recognizes the importance of digital as an instrument of change, but that has yet to find its footing for the level of transformation it needs to execute.”

‘Digital Readiness’ Linked to Higher Financial Performance
According to the report, institutions that achieved a higher score on the index tended to have lower cost-income ratios, generate higher returns on equity and maintain higher average share prices.

No Clear Regional Leader
According to Saluja: “No one country can boast being a digital leader in Europe. When viewed through a geographic lens, the research results indicate varying levels of digital...