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  1. Technology
October 29, 2015

Banking boards lack technology know-how

News: None of the directors at Greek, Italian and Russian banks have professional technology experience.

By Nitin Kumar

A lack of technology experience is haunting the boardrooms of the world’s largest banks as only 14% of directors in the UK and 16% in the US have professional technology experience.

According to a report from Accenture titled, "Bridging the Technology Gap in Financial Services Boardrooms", only 6% of board members and 3% CEOs at some of the world’s largest banks have professional technology experience.

The report also highlighted that Boards of Chinese, Brazilian, Greek, Italian and Russian banks have the lowest technological experience.

Around 43% of the banks have no board members with technology experience, while 30% have only one board member with professional technology experience.

The report recommends banks to set up board-level technology committees as it is expected to provide additional expertise and advise the board on major technology decisions.

Accenture said that presently only 11% of the top banks have technology committees.

It also suggests that financial services boards must adopt regular programmes of personalised coaching to help improve the technology intelligence of all directors in order to equip them to make better decisions.

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Accenture Financial Service group chief executive Richard Lumb said: "Many banks now realise how important it is to close the technology gap and are looking to hire technology experts on the board but it is not easy.

"It is also important to recognise that simply having one or two technology experts on the board is not a panacea.

"Banks need to change boardroom culture through a combination of deep technology expertise and also much-improved understanding of the impact of technology among other board members."

Some of the banks have already taken steps to add technology expertise to their board, as Spanish bank Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria has promoted its head of digital banking to its board this year.

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