This month’s Global Talent Update highlights Britain’s longest-ever recession; how open banking is being adopted widely across the Asia-Pacific region; why cybersecurity is quickly adjusting and shifting to keep pace with business inventiveness in Canada.
The Bank of England has just warned that the U.K. is now headed for its longest recession since records began a century ago. The central bank expects GDP (gross domestic product) to continue falling through 2023 and into the first half of 2024. The projected two-year downturn is set to be “very challenging,” the Bank said, costing around 500,000 jobs, and piling the pressure on already pinched businesses and households. Many independent businesses are now striving to survive the Christmas period before shuttering in January, according to the Federation of Small Businesses, and over a third of the U.K.’s hospitality sector say they’re at risk of closure early next year due to higher costs, soaring energy bills and weakened consumer demand.
U.K. consumer inflation hit a 40-year high of 10.1% in September, while the producer input prices remained stubbornly high at 20%. The BOE has warned that interest rates, currently set at 3%, will now likely have to rise further than previously predicted to push inflation back toward its 2% target.
Tina McKenzie, chair of policy and advocacy at the Federation of Small Businesses, said many small and medium-sized U.K. businesses are now “under attack from various sides,” citing reduced access to cash and labor, as well as inflationary pressures.
Open banking, the use of application programming interfaces (APIs) to streamline the sharing of customer bank data with third parties, “opens up banks” in the sense that it enables customers to have greater control and ownership over their personal information used by financial institutions. The Far East region and China (China is defined as a separate market) is forecast to be the second largest market for open banking after Europe. In theory, an optimal open banking system would allow customers to select the services from different financial institutions they liked best, in contrast to the traditional one-size fits all model that remains dominant today.
Across the Asia-Pacific region, open banking is being adopted widely, but the approaches different countries and regions are taking vary considerably. They may be market led, regulator led or a hybrid that blends aspects of both. Southeast Asia was one of the last regions to embrace open banking, and its adoption in Southeast Asian countries is very much market led. Here, the core driver has been demand from customers, which has led to an increasing number of banks becoming API-ready.
Read more at Asia Pacific’s Vast Open Banking Opportunity | Forbes.
According to PwC’s 2023 Global Digital Trust Insights survey, cybersecurity has become a dynamic field, quickly adjusting and shifting to keep pace with business inventiveness. Insights from 138 Canadian participants in the survey include these findings:
- Fewer than 40% of Canadian respondents say they’ve fully mitigated the risks their bold moves have incurred since 2020, such as enabling hybrid and remote work, accelerated cloud adoption and increased use of Internet-of-Things technologies.
- 87% of Canadian respondents say they’re experiencing greater external demands for disclosures of cyber incidents and practices. But only 43% say they’re confident they can provide the required information about a significant incident within the required reporting time after the incident.
- Data security and privacy are the Achilles’ heel of many organizations. Nearly half (46%) of Canadian respondents say they might sometimes use customer data without express consent. And 49% might not always vet all the third parties and partners with whom they share customer data.
Read more at 2023 Canadian Digital Trust Insights | PwC Canada.