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Investors Have Little Confidence in the Banking Industry’s Digital Transformation Plans

Seventy-five percent of investors lack confidence in the digital transformation strategies of banks, according to Oliver Wyman’s The State of the Financial Services Industry 2020.

Astonishingly, none of the investors surveyed for the report said that banks’ transformation plans — which can include everything from automation to customer-centric design, data analytics and cloud-based services — were both clear and credible. A data-driven articulation of digital transformation agendas was the missing element, the survey found.

While 80% of investors surveyed for the report consider digital transformation important when making investment decisions, they haven’t been equipped with the necessary metrics to be confident in banks’ plans, the report notes. 

As the finance industry increasingly turns to digital products for service provision, the report says, transition agendas must clearly outline the following:

  • Products or services for the proposed investment
  • Purpose of the investment
  • Required resources
  • Expected results
  • Data that supports the plan, with proof that the benefits will outweigh the costs 

Ultimately, investors need to see a strong correlation between transformation and operating profitability to support banks’ plans to transition to digital.

The Standard of Living Is Plummeting in Lebanon

Source: Gallup

A record number of Lebanese are having a difficult time getting by with their household income. Over 70% of Lebanese agreed that they were financially struggling, while only 24% were living comfortably last year.

The Lebanese pound lost more than 90% of its worth since the country’s October 2019 economic crisis, and it continues to worsen due to skyrocketing prices for food, medicine, fuel and other basic goods. The number of Lebanese living with food insecurity tripled between 2019 and 2020. Before 2019, 57% of the Lebanese population were satisfied with their standard of living; now, Gallup says, the percentage is less than half of that.

Lebanon’s financial state, governmental instability and corruption has led to widespread social unrest and supply shortages. A record 87% of the public say that their economic status will only get worse in the future. The international community has given Lebanon humanitarian aid, but warned that without a functioning government, it will be more difficult to create long-term structural reforms.

Is Delta Impacting Americans’ Desire to Get Vaccinated?

Source: YouGov, Yahoo News/YouGov poll, July 13-15, 2021

Americans who are worried about the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus report that they would get a booster shot at a higher rate (70%) than those who are less worried or not at all worried (42%). 

For each group of respondents above, about a quarter report being unsure of their decision to get a booster shot, reflecting some of the public’s continued lack of confidence in the vaccine’s safety or necessity. Fifty-five percent of those who are unvaccinated report that FDA approval of the vaccine would not change their mind about opting out of vaccination, and 73% say that Delta has no impact on their decision, either. 

“Public-health authorities have not recommended third ’booster’ vaccine shots yet,” says YouGov. However, some countries are already offering them, which has been a controversial decision, as many people still have yet to receive their first dose of the vaccine. “Pfizer says it will seek emergency use authorization from the FDA for a booster next month.”

A Healthy Diet Is Out of Reach for 3 Billion People

Source: Food Prices for Nutrition project, Tufts University; Map: The Conversation

Three billion people couldn’t afford to purchase the cheapest healthy foods before the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest available data from 2017 shows that around 40% of the global population resorts to poor-quality diets due to high food prices and low incomes.

Many healthy foods are consistently more expensive than starchy products, oil and sugar. Most of the world’s poorest countries — like in Africa and South Asia — cannot afford ingredients for healthy meals even if they spend their entire income on food. Meanwhile, the 60% of the global population that can  afford these healthy ingredients don’t always choose to — either because they want to avoid longer cooking times, or they are drawn to unhealthy foods through advertising and marketing tactics.

Global food prices reached a 10-year high during the pandemic, but prices started to decline in June — still 25% more expensive than the 2014-2016 average. Governments and NGOs are working to make food more accessible through technological advancements in agriculture, safety net and educational programs and more higher-paying jobs. 

Most Countries Doubt Future Generations’ Earning Potential

Source: Pew Research Center

Majority of the public in 17 countries surveyed believe that their children will be in a worse financial situation than their generation. A median 32% of those surveyed by Pew Research Center disagree. 

Respondents who have a poorer view of how the pandemic was handled by their government, or who had their own life affected by COVID-19, are more likely to have a negative view on their children’s future. France and Japan have the highest percentages of those who believe their children will be financially worse off at 77%, while the public in Singapore and Sweden are more positive about their kids’ prospects. 

A 2020 study found that the loss of early childhood development could majorly damage income potential and productivity over the younger generation’s lifetime. Education-related funding is predicted to increase this year as schools ensure that sanitary supplies are present to properly enforce in-person, COVID-safety standards and eliminate further school closures.

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