Industry to continue working remotely

by Krystal Scanlon 11 November 2020

Half (52%) of employees will not be required to return to the office as soon as it is deemed safe in the countries they work in, according to FIS.

The firm’s 2020 Readiness Report, found on the contrary, 19% of respondents said it is somewhat likely they will require employees to return as soon as it’s safe, while only 2% said this is very likely.

FIS surveyed 250 capital markets executives in June and September to determine the markets’ response to Covid-19. Respondents included PE fund managers (10%) fund administrators (17%), traditional asset managers (10%) real estate and hedge funds (both 10%), brokers (17%) and insurers (8%), across North America (50%), Europe (30%) and APAC (20%)

Remote working

When asked if all or most employees would work from home for part of the time on a long-term basis, 10% of respondents said this is likely, while more than half (52%) said this is somewhat likely. In comparison, a fifth (21%) of all respondents said this is somewhat unlikely.

Of those surveyed, 16% said they would allow all or most of their employees to work from home all the time on a permanent basis, while 39% said this is somewhat likely. Again, a fifth (20%) of participants said this is somewhat unlikely.

Reduction of office space

The survey also found that some firms will be using this period to reduce their overall office space they lease or own. In response to this question, 14% of those surveyed said this is very likely, while 34% said this is somewhat likely. On the flip side, 21% said this is somewhat unlikely.

Prioritising tech investments

When asked about which areas of tech investment would be prioritised over the next 12 months, FIS found 58% of participants said cyber security tools, 41% are prioritising back-office systems, 46% said regtech systems and 36% are prioritising operational risk management solutions.

Harry Stahl, director, regtech solutions and strategy at FIS said, “The risks of a remote workplace are shining a spotlight on cyber security and operational control, including employee communications. Enter regulatory concerns around anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism and we’re witnessing a surge in demand for robust regtech and surveillance tools across operations.”

Change of strategy

When comparing data between June and September, priorities of firms have understandably shifted.

In June, 43% of respondents said they would prioritise a greater use of managed services and cloud, however with remote working continuing for the long-term, this increased to 46% of respondents in September.

Additionally, while only 28% of respondents in June felt they would continue remote working long-term and effectively reduce their physical footprints, this has also increased to 40% in September, given the continued uncertainty.

When asked about using more advanced, data-driven risk management tools, FIS found 42% of respondents said this was a priority in June, while this has only slightly decreased to 40% in September.

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