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Wipfli releases new research on the state of banking

Thursday, January 19, 2023

New research is available from Wipfli today, describing the state of the banking industry. Wipfli surveyed nearly 250 financial institutions to learn what their top concerns are and how they are navigating economic challenges, the national labor shortage and digital engagement.

Despite a gloomy and uncertain economy, State of Banking is full of hope. Nearly every bank we surveyed expects to grow in the next 12 months. Seventy percent of banks think they’ll grow 5% or more. Banks with over $3B in assets reported even higher confidence.

How will they achieve that growth? Banks told us they’re tackling strategic priorities like closing the talent gap, improving digital engagement, and creating new revenue streams. They’re also pursuing digital transformation projects to reduce costs and their reliance on human labor.

According to our research, banks are having the hardest time filling front-line, commercial and retail roles. Larger banks are also struggling to find digital and IT workers. To fill the gap, banks are increasing wages, benefits and perks, and creating career paths for employees.

To meet customers’ digital banking needs, more than half of banks introduced instant payments services in the past three years. Another 47% added automated investing or robo-advisory services, which helps expands investment and wealth advisory services to the mass market.

“Adding revenue and improving engagement are only part of the equation. Banks also need to cut costs and increase efficiency,” said Anna Kooi, national financial services leader at Wipfli.

Banks also acknowledged potential barriers to growth, listing the economic and regulatory environment, cybersecurity and ESG as other top concerns.

Wipfli collected responses from 249 financial institutions across 39 states to inform the report. Of the institutions surveyed, 29% had assets under $500M, 45% had assets between $500M and $3B, and 28% were over $3B.

Download a copy of the State of Banking report

Media contact: Sara Snyder