The September labour force data show the impact of the recession on jobs, hours worked and unemployment. It is bad news. Depressing in many ways to realise that there are 937,400 Australians unemployed, a further 1,538,800 underemployed and that since the onset of Covid-19, the workforce participation rate has dropped by 1.3 percentage points as people have given up looking for work.
It's not new news that the finance and banking Industries are under some pressure during these times. Assisting our community and our families is a big job that puts pressure on our system and our people. We all understand this, but one thing I've learned in these recent times is that crisis does not change people, crisis reveals them. How we deal with a crisis is a reflection on how we deal with life.
On the back of the pandemic, we have seen the financial services sector fare better than most others however it has also gone through a significant disruption to its workforce. Most financial services companies sent their employees home to work. They then faced challenges with employees not being able to access information and files on-premises as well as employees being unable to collaborate effectively, not being face to face.
The Banking and Finance sector has been extremely innovative over the last decade - the shift to digital and online, the growth of Fintech and an increased focus on the customer - but never has it moved so fast as it did in the last two weeks of March 2020.
When Covid came, we all had to very quickly change the way we worked, the way we communicated, how we socialised, even what we did for leisure.
COVID-19 has sparked massive changes in banking and finance, not least because of the deep recession impacting the economy.
Among the changes that have been witnessed in finance, the so-called responsible lending laws have been relaxed to make it easier for a borrower to get a loan. In addition, around $35 billion has been withdrawn from superannuation accounts as the government has encouraged people to pull out cash from their superannuation savings to cover the costs of being unemployed or working fewer hours during the COVID-19 recession.
Economist Stephen Koukoulas says “there is no confidence at all” in any projections about the unemployment rate amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Australian economist Stephen Koukoulas says the Reserve Bank of Australia’s emergency cash rate cut would help businesses and homeowners already “well off economically in this crisis”.
Central banks and governments around the world are scrambling to keep economies afloat as the coronavirus contagion sweeps across the globe. In Australia the RBA is poised to announce its next move on Thursday. Economist Stephen Koukoulas speaks to ABC News.
Anyone can have a ‘good time’ if they borrow and spend like the proverbial drunken sailor, but as we all know, such action is not sustainable. It cannot go on forever given that one day the money will run out and the debt will have to be repaid.
Our expert economist and social commentator Stephen Koukoulas explores the question of how sustainable is our super with an aging population.
Why do we need virtual banks? Is this just another barrage of buzzwords the banks are using in the hope of gaining some positive media coverage and a few speaking engagements? Or is there something of value in a virtual bank for consumers?
Colin James is one of those people that has spent his life exploring cultures, religions, philosophies and human psychology, which makes him uniquely qualified to speak on the subject of motivation and drivers.
In this essay Colin looks at the drivers of the "banking culture" in the wake of the royal commission, and considers how culture in the workplace is one of the driving forces of performance.
In this episode of the Smart Community Podcast, Shara Evans (Technologist, Futurist, Keynote Speaker and Self-Proclaimed Sci-Fi Geek) discusses her background, how she transitioned from technologist to futurist, and what sparked her interest in the Smart Community space.
The world of crypto currency is exciting, fast moving, and still a bit risky in terms of valuation, hacking of digital wallets and exchanges or losing your password (and access to your crypto account). In spite of these risks, early products such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and many other digital currencies are currently being used or trialled around the world.
The housing market has hit the wall.
After years of unrelenting strength, house prices are dropping. Not by much, at this stage, but the heat in the Sydney market in particular, has suddenly turned cold.
The fascinating and scary thing is that the price falls are increasingly widespread.
Property on the blockchain? Smart contracts and bitcoin-like management of decentralised property ownership is coming. And that's just the start.
Although consumer demand has driven the widespread adoption of online real estate listings, the mechanisms and processes of real estate have gone largely unchanged for decades - or longer.
That's all starting to change.
If you ask a banker what the biggest threat to their industry might be, the answer would likely be "blockchain"... the ominous-sounding technology that powers cryptocurrency and is proving something of a headache for banks trying to innovate their way out of the red tape of the past.
But that's only half the story...
It seems almost counter-intuitive that big-data could help financial services be more human, could connect them to the emotional needs of their customers. As banks strive to get away from their image as cold, unfeeling entities, the truly future-proof fintech thinkers are looking beyond demographics to solve the problem of a digital entity trying to understand the analog heart.
If we're going to kick start the year and kick start the team we need to make sure we're not just managing our team but we're also managing our energy. In this video-clip, 'Hall of Fame' speaker Lisa McInnes-Smith has some dynamite advice to enable sales teams.
What does Seamless look like for the banking and finance industry?
In this short video, futurist Anders Sorman-Nilsson shares some great insights into the Seamless customer journey as well as big data and cyber criminals - two disruptive trends that are set to shape the future of banking.
Britain's leaving the European Union is one of the biggest shocks of the past decade, both to the political establishment (in Britain, elsewhere in Europe, and beyond) and to the financial markets (again, in Britain, elsewhere in Europe, and beyond).
There can be absolutely no denying it, the way that the world works, relates, spends and saves money has fundamentally changed. This represents a huge opportunity for banks, financial services and anyone in the customer service space to start designing for the future. In this video-clip banking innovator, cofounder and president of Moven, Alex Sion introduces the 'new possible'. It's time to design a new North... are you ready?
Scott Bales is a leading tech innovator. This video-clip covers one of the ideas at the heart behind Scott's newest book Innovation Wars: Unlocking the Secrets of Corporate Innovation.
How do banks and financial services break through the 'fear barrier' to design innovative products and services... and survive?
To respond to the ever growing demand amongst my clients, I'm launching my new book Innovation Wars, with the pre-orders starting on May 2nd. After the success of my previous book Mobile Ready, I've chosen to partner with Publishizer to build the support to produce an amazing innovation tool. You can pre-order the book here.
I’ve been thinking about the issues that I’m likely to find myself talking about at conferences and events across the coming year. Here are ten things that I think are set to shape and shape the global and Australian economies during 2016.
Recently, I had a meeting with a large finance firm. One of the senior people opened the discussion with:
“What I thought I would do is give you a bit of a lay of the land, so that when you step up to the plate, you will have an understanding of the arena and the context in which we are playing in here. Because at the end of the day going forward, what we need to do is to all sing from the same song sheet. I’m not talking about going after the low hanging fruit here, but I really think we need to think outside the box. Because until we get the buy-in of all the stakeholders, we are going to find ourselves falling back into the old patterns of play.”
As 2014 draws to a close, it is time to think about your business, your personal financial plans and how trends in the economy might impact you in 2015.
Without understanding the intricacies of the economy, including what sectors will be strong, where interest rates might be going, what will happen to the Australian dollar or housing or consumer spending, there is a risk that an opportunity will be missed.
The Australian economy is creating jobs again.
The big questions are where? How many? And will it last?
Before we get to those sorts of specifics, it should go without saying, but the best thing to generate jobs and lower the unemployment rate is a growing economy.
Budget, Budget, Budget. That is the word occupying the minds of economist, CEOs, parents, working mums and students alike. But as the results from the commission audit are released, Stephen Koukoulas gives us an insight into just how the government will come up with these figures and his take on what this means for the average Australian.
In light of the humbug of the 'budget never returning to surplus unless we cut the tripe out of spending', I though it interesting to revisit the sensitivity of budget forecasting to small changes to the economic parameters.