Driving the evolution of smart finance

Featuring the world’s leading experts in banking, payments, securities services, technology, FX and more, Sibos is the hub for the financial industry’s brightest minds and ideas in 2020.

This year's theme is driving the evolution of smart finance and the 2020 programme includes explores how the financial industry can make better decisions and run smarter businesses, while optimising technology and data.

Facing today's issues

Our industry and the world in general is in a state of flux. The ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, geo-political trends, climate change movements and social mobilisation are driving change across the globe. Almost every aspect of our life, from work to leisure, to how we shop and consume has been infiltrated by technology, with this year's events reinforcing this reliance.

We are constantly striving for faster, more efficient, effective and smarter ways to lead our lives at work and at home. Our industry doesn’t exist in a vacuum, we must face the issues of today and the future; how regulatory change is developing, the evolving workplace, the role of data, and our responsibility to future inhabitants of our planet.

Adapting to a
new environment

Digital intelligence and technological innovation are reshaping business models, working practices and core aims. We can no longer rely on rudimentary metrics of success such as profitability alone. We need to be more alert, agile and quicker to adapt to emerging trends in our industry and challenges in our wider society, especially in areas such as customer requirements, investor priorities, supply chain dynamics, and employee expectations. The thought-provoking Sibos 2020 programme addresses these issues, focusing on the core theme and four interconnected sub-themes – delivering digital value, responsible innovation, banking for humanity, and the future of finance.

Delivering digital value

The right approach to leveraging emerging technologies depends on your starting point. Incumbent players in mature markets face different challenges from those who have played technology leapfrog. There are lessons to be learnt from fintechs and bigtechs in terms of DevOps agility, client responsiveness and collaborative technologies. This sub-theme addresses the opportunities and risks, from the payments sector – where innovation is making real-time transactions flexible, frictionless, predictable, transparent and secure – to securities trading, FX and beyond.

Responsible innovation

Innovation is often associated with risk, but responsible innovation can deliver positive outcomes across the financial sector, including greater transparency, increased competition and lower prices. Intelligent data and APIs have the power to deliver targeted, streamlined and more efficient services, allowing third parties increased accessand connectivity. However, they also bring into focus potential threats around misuse of information, consent and cyber risk. This sub-theme explores how the industry can maintain a balanced approach to innovation that allows fresh ideas to flourish, while protecting against downside risks.

The future of finance

This final sub-theme places the financial industry under the microscope. It examines the industry’s role in wider society, addressing global issues such as inequality, pandemics and climate change. Is today’s financial industry fit for purpose? Will more agile and technologically fluid challengers overtake traditional banking systems and market infrastructures? For many, global financialisation of economies has driven greater inequalities in developed countries, and environmentally disastrous growth in the developing world. Sibos debates whether these charges are fair, and what reforms are required.

Banking for humanity

The banking for humanity sub-theme examines the role of the finance industry in supporting clients’ transition to a low-carbon and sustainable economy, through incentives, innovation and investment opportunities. It also explores the role of digital technology in developing financial services that change lives and workspaces, and the growing importance of diversity and staff motivation, recognising that smart ideas stem from a welcoming and inclusive environment.