Knowing your customer has never been more critical than in today’s COVID-19 environment. When selling or providing consulting services to banks and financial institutions, it is vitally important to understand the challenges they are facing. An awareness of your banking clients’ and prospects’ concerns, and identifying where you can help, is critical to both your success and theirs. 


What Concerns Do Financial Institutions Have for the Second Half of 2020?

Financial institutions face many of the same challenges that other companies do, each working to keep employees and customers safe during these times. They must also overcome significant obstacles based on the nature of their business and the economic fallout created by COVID-19, such as: 

  • Increasing loan charge-offs due to rising unemployment and businesses struggling to service their existing debt
  • Lower net interest income driven by falling interest rates and tighter net interest margins
  • Pressure from regulators and governments to do more to help revive the economy, from lending to cash-starved businesses to providing temporary relief on customer loan payments

Not sure what some of these industry terms are or why they’re important to financial institutions? Get 30-days of free access to PSI’s Inside Financial Services® Industry Wiki to deepen your financial services industry expertise.

While there have been many challenges, COVID-19 has created changes in customer behavior that may benefit banks, including: 

  • Accelerated digital payments and transaction volumes, as customers avoid branch visits and businesses shift to non-cash payments, both of which may lower operating costs in the long run
  • The potential to grow capital markets’ revenue, as increased market volatility generates additional trading volume.
  • The likely surge in mortgage loan applications, as borrowers refinance loans at a lower interest rate

How Can You Help Your Financial Services Clients?

The impact of COVID-19 is creating sales and consulting opportunities for organizations that support the financial services industry. These opportunities include:

  • Technology and services supporting digital channels, as digital spend is a significant focus during the pandemic
  • Cybersecurity services, as organizations are at increased risk while they support remote workers and experience an increase in digital transactions
  • Robotic process automation and other services that increase automation to help lower costs and focus employee work efforts on higher-level tasks 
  • M&A and other financial advisory services as some organizations seek mergers or to acquire weaker competitors

Staying current on these issues and connecting them to your offerings requires a deep understanding of your client’s business and, more generally speaking, the industry in which they work. If you want to be successful, you need to focus on where your clients will invest their precious capital during this challenging time.


This article is excerpted from PSI’s Inside Financial Services® Wiki, which is designed to be a game-changing, just-in-time informational tool that can help sales and consulting professionals get smart about the financial services industry, its players, products, and services, as well as sales opportunities. Click here to deepen your financial services industry expertise and gain 30-days free access to PSI’s Inside Financial Services® Industry Wiki.  

About the Authors

Chris Lawton, a founding partner at Performance Solutions International (PSI) has been providing training and consulting services to various industries and clients for the last 29 years (after a career in public accounting).

David Tompkins is a founding partner at PSI and has spent over 30 years providing training and consulting services for the financial services and technology industries.

Performance Solutions International 

PSI is the leading provider of industry-focused training, custom learning solutions and learning consulting services to empower your professionals with the knowledge, skills and tools they need to succeed in today’s highly competitive environment.