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Bank boards across the world lack in technological expertise: Accenture report

Accenture has recommended that 25% of banks’ board directors should have technology experience. It added that while the world’s largest banks have made progress on adding technology experience in the boardroom, the progress has been slow (REUTERS)Premium
Accenture has recommended that 25% of banks’ board directors should have technology experience. It added that while the world’s largest banks have made progress on adding technology experience in the boardroom, the progress has been slow (REUTERS)

  • Accenture analyzed the professional background of nearly 2,000 executive and non-executive directors of 107 of the largest banks by assets in the world

There is a continued lack of technological expertise among board members of some of the world’s largest banks, even as these lenders ramp up their investments in technology to cater to customer demand, a report by Accenture said on Friday.

Accenture analyzed the professional background of nearly 2,000 executive and non-executive directors of 107 of the largest banks by assets in the world. The analysis included banks in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the US.

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For this analysis, Accenture said it defined board members with professional technology experience as those who have senior technology responsibilities―such as serving as chief information officer, chief technology officer or chief digital officer―at their current company; had such responsibilities in previous companies; or have or had senior responsibilities at a technology firm.

“Much of the disruption brought about by the pandemic has led to a rapid shift within banking to more digital touchpoints, requiring speedy technology investments," said Mauro Macchi, who leads Accenture strategy and consulting in Europe.

“Banks that are accelerating their cloud adoption to better manage change would benefit from a board with technology experience that can help ensure that technology investments are compatible across various business units."

According to the report, Accenture has recommended that 25% of banks’ board directors should have technology experience. It added that while the world’s largest banks have made progress on adding technology experience in the boardroom, the progress has been slow.

For instance, the report found, only 10% of all board directors, as well as 10% of the chief executives on the boards evaluated for the report have professional technology experience, up just 4 and 6 percentage points, respectively, from five years ago.

“In addition, the number of banks whose board has at least one member with professional technology experience has increased only 10 percentage points in the past five years, from 57% to 67%―meaning that one-third of banks still have no board member with professional technology experience," Accenture said.

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