A report published by Greenwich Associates has found that European banks lag behind their US rivals when it comes to the deployment of digital solutions to know-your-customer (KYC) issues.

The report says US banks, alongside HSBC that is also keeping abreast of technological advances, have opened a commanding lead in critical KYC digital technologies.

This is making it difficult for Europe’s banks to defend critical corporate relationships from increasingly aggressive US competitors the report by the US-based provider of data and analytics to the financial services industry says.

Change of emphasis

Prior to the 2008 global financial crisis, innovation in corporate banking meant the rollout of new and increasingly sophisticated banking products according to Greenwich.

It says that a decade later, the innovation that companies care most about has less to do with financial products and more to do with electronic systems that make banking operations better, cheaper, faster, and easier – and eliminate “pain points” that have come to define the corporate banking customer experience.

Big issue

KYC is by far the biggest issue the report concludes.

Greenwich conducted 2,345 interviews with financial officers at corporations and financial institutions with sales in excess of €500 million (US$563 million), including 1,047 with sales of at least €2 billion (US$2.3 billion).