This report identifies the 21 themes that will impact the banking industry in 2021. For each theme, we offer a series of predictions, identify winners and losers, and suggest further reading.

Companies that invest in the right themes become success stories, while those that miss the big themes end up as failures. Given that so many themes are disruptive, it is very easy to be blindsided by industry outsiders who invade your sector. To help our clients gain a competitive advantage, we developed our thematic research ecosystem - a single, integrated global research platform that provides an easy-to-use framework for tracking all themes across all companies in all sectors.


  • Because of how the European Union structured PSD2, there is great fragmentation in those standards across Europe. This will continue to be a problem in 2021 and will likely drive a more precise and concrete specification of API standards, directory services, and infrastructure (PSD3).
  • Increasingly, both everything we buy and everything our money touches will be measured for its impact on sustainability. New digital banks can leverage their superior financial insight to drip-feed tips and offers that nudge customers towards greener spending and ESG-compliant retailers.
  • Big investment banks and asset managers will continue with a future funnel approach by launching online savings banks (turning spenders into savers) and mass market robo-advisors (turning savers into investors).

Reasons To Buy

  • Understand the most disruptive themes in banking for 2021.
  • Access key predictions per theme to help guide strategy and tech decisions at your institution.
  • Understand which individual firms are best placed to “win” or “lose” amid predicted thematic impacts.