The chief executive of Barclays bank in the UK, Ashok Vaswani (above), came to Bristol to discuss the Digital Transformation of Banking.

The Annual Bolland Lecture is part of the Bristol Distinguished Address Series at the University of the West of England business school, and Ashok started his talk by discussing the amount of change within the Banking industry since the crash of Lehman Brothers in 2008.

There have been three major key changes since that financial crisis that are now all coming together, from developments in technology, and regulatory changes to changing customer habits.

Ashok talked about “the good, the bad and the ugly” aspects of advancements in technology. For example, how the consumer is able to have instant access and gratification through mobile apps, how the automation of some services has taken away jobs, and not forgetting the increased threat of cybersecurity attacks. Although he supports the transformation of technology he also recognises that business is all about people and that people enjoy social contact, therefore, sometimes it is about “having a conversation that technology cannot provide.”

Ashok also emphasised an inherent need for trust in organisations in order to retain customers, in particular in relation to privacy and data regulations.

High Tech Bristol and Bath runs networking events around the growing fintech cluster in the region that bring together technology and security experts. Other lectures at UWE are at