FINANCIAL SERVICES | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

What can Hong Kong banks gain from turning away from BPOs?

Managed services may just be the way to add further value for banking customers.

Although banks have long turned to outsourcing for their non-core activities, lenders also need to constantly rethink their strategies to add value to their business beyond the consideration of cost outcomes, according to accounting firm KPMG.

Also read: Banks' cost to income ratio improves despite larger digital investments

The primary gain banks get from business process outsourcing (BPO) has usually been on the cost side which has, more often than not, led to less attention being given to introducing tech solutions to ensure sustainable outsourcing.

However, with the regulatory environment emphasising the need for greater data accuracy, banks may be deploying otherwise valuable resources to outsourced services rather than serving more urgent customer needs.

“Banks in Hong Kong are increasingly on the lookout for technology-enabled solutions to help deliver business outcomes beyond cost reduction. Managed services is swiftly emerging as a value-based alternative to traditional outsourcing,” said Rupert Chamberlain, CEO of managed services at KPMG China.

Also read: Banks wage war over fixed deposits as interbank lending rates surge

Managed services can also integrate other processes and subject expertise, including antimoney laundering, regulations, banking, financial services, tech and innovation. This approach is often complemented by a customer outreach component, setting it apart from traditional outsourcing methods.

“It is no longer about the cheapest service provider, but finding partners that can add value,” KPMG said in a statement.

“In addition to benefitting from the access to flexible and scalable resource and strong process expertise, banks in Hong Kong may finally be able to free up front line resources to support a growth agenda and ensure the needs of customers are met.”

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