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  • Writer's pictureKelsie Papenhausen

Finastra hosts US Lending Day to explore trends and innovation in financial services

New York, NY – November 1, 2023 – Finastra, a global provider of financial software applications and marketplaces, held its US Lending Day on October 25 in New York City. The event brought together industry experts and leaders from the banking, lending, trade finance, and technology sectors to discuss the latest trends, challenges, and opportunities in the digitization and automation of financial services, as well as the evolution of sustainable finance.

The event featured keynote speeches, panel discussions, live polling, and breakout sessions on topics such as AI, ESG, corporate lending, digital trade finance, and digital transformation. Some of the takeaways include:

A review of the major trends and their impact on financial services. For example, an aging population is affecting the need for upskilling and reskilling around technical solutions; extreme weather and its impact on business continuity programs; and assertive regulation and reduced money supply, highlighting the need for capital efficiency.

AI is transforming the banking industry and creating new possibilities for customer engagement, risk management, and operational efficiency, while noting that technology alone is not the solution, but is an enabler to help businesses solve their problems. Experts offered tips for banks to consider on their AI journeys, including skilling, data governance, clear definition of problems needing solving, prioritization, and risk analysis.

The role of ESG factors in driving value creation and competitive advantage for financial institutions and their clients. This includes navigating sustainable finance, which is often an ill-defined space. While much of the world sees ESG as a top priority in lending, there are key differences when it comes to regulations. A global baseline is needed to measure and disclose what is truly financially material, highlighting the importance of ecosystem partners in facilitating a more open financial services industry across the world.

Corporate lending continues to evolve, and standardization is leading to many benefits and changes. With the financial industry facing increased regulation and customer expectations, technology providers must offer flexibility and agility to meet regulatory and competitive needs. Experts agreed that building ecosystem relationships is essential, particularly as time to market is more imperative than ever.

Discussion of the challenges and solutions for digital trade finance, with many attendees and panelists agreeing that trade is often back of mind for tech spending, and typically does not benefit from the tech investment it requires. Between this challenge and limited innovation around product sets, it is important that banks get creative with their tech stacks. One solution discussed highlighted the managed service or as-a-service approach, allowing financial institutions to automate and digitize their trade finance operations quickly and efficiently.

The event also showcased Finastra’s latest innovations and solutions for lending and trade finance, such as the ESG Service, Loan IQ Build, simplified loan servicing via Loan IQ, and digital trade.

“We are delighted to share our vision and insights with our clients and partners, and are committed to helping financial institutions around the globe embrace digital transformation while leveraging the powers of data, AI, and ESG to deliver better outcomes for their businesses and society,” said Isabel Fernandez, EVP of Lending at Finastra. “As an enabler of the open finance ecosystem, collaboration between our customers and partners is central to our goals, and we look forward to continuing these conversations.”


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