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Andrew Curry writes: This week in London we held a client event – in partnership with h+k strategies – to look at the future of personal finance. My colleague Jo Phillips and I opened with a review of the trends and implications, and then we had a panel discussion with Matthew Blakstad of NEST, Geroge Bevis of the fintech start-up Groovy Banana, and Matt Battersby of h+k.

We’ll be posting more on this over the next couple of weeks – h+k is also producing a short video of speakers and panellists – but for the moment I thought I’d just catch the flavour of the event from the tweets, in a storify sort of a way.

The Futures Company’s EMEA MD, Henry Tucker, kicked things off with a quote from David Copperfield, which was apt because we were in h+k’s Dickens Room:

Some of the key trends in the sector are around the rise in public scepticism about business behaviour:

And as a result, people are doing more research for themselves.

Which means that brands are less important, and there are opportunities for new entrants and existing players to do things in different ways. There are signs that the financial services sector is responding to change, if slowly:

And, of course, William Gibson’s famous quote about the future had popped up during the presentation.

But it’s not just about product or service innovation: it’s about innovation in values and in the way financial service companies think about their customers:

Which took us on to the panel:

Matthew Blakstad said that companies need to get to know their customers better,  because otherwise they wouldn’t generate enough trust to share data – and sharing data was a preconditon of the kind of financial services businesses that customers wanted:

George Bevis observed that the incumbents still had huge advantages in terms of distribution – but that they’d need to change their role to make the most of this:

And, on a similar note, Matt Battersby said that doing this would require a change in the the way the sector thinks about its relationships with its customers:

There are still big challenges, and some of these were touched on in the Q&A session. A lot of financial services innovation is still effectively repackaging old products, although the sector isn’t unique in that. And innovating in fairly tightly regulated environment does require a different mindset. We’ll be dong more on this in the next few weeks.

The image at the top of the three challenges for financial service is by The Futures Company, and is published under a Creative Commons licence. If you want to find out more about our thinking on financial services, please contact Jo Phillips

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