Only 10% of board directors at big banks have tech expertise: Accenture

Only 10% of board directors at big banks have tech expertise: Accenture
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12 Mar, 2021

Despite significant increase in technology adoption in the financial sector to cater to consumers amid the pandemic, a recent study has found that only 10% of board directors at leading banks globally have technology expertise.   

“Their boards of directors lack the technology expertise to minimise the risks and maximise the benefits of their technology investments,” Irish technology giant Accenture said in the report.   

In the Boosting the Boardroom’s Technology Expertise report, Accenture recommends that at least 25% of bank board directors have technology experience.  

“Although there has been a move towards adding executives with tech expertise, the move seems to be slow,” the company said in the report.  

“Banks that are accelerating their cloud adoption to better manage change would benefit from a board with technology experience that can help ensure that technology investments are compatible across various business units,” Mauro Macchi, senior managing director, Accenture strategy and consulting lead for Europe, said.   

As per the report, 67% of the banks surveyed had at least one member with technology expertise. A similar Accenture study five years ago pegged the number at 57% --  about a third of the world’s big banks had no boardroom member with technology expertise.  

The study also found that the number of women on the directorial board has increased from 19% five years ago to 33% today.  

“While it’s not practical for banks to make a rash number of tech-savvy board appointments to fill the gap in technology credentials, they should consider technology expertise as a factor for new appointments, alongside their other evaluation criteria,” Macchi added.  

The study had representation from nearly 2,000 executive, non-executive directors and CXOs of 107 of the largest banks (by assets) across 20 countries.  

India was not part of the study. An earlier S&P global market research showed that only one Indian bank -- The State Bank of India -- was among the top 100 banks of the world.