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Canadian Financial Services Companies in 2020: Feeling Like “Star Trek” on the way to Digital Transformation

Broadridge’s second annual survey on Canadian digital transformation explores the state of innovation in financial services

TORONTO, Ontario – January 21, 2020 – According to a recent survey of Canadian financial services professionals by Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (NYSE:BR), a global Fintech leader and part of the S&P 500® Index, digital transformation is of critical importance to the future success of their firms.  More than 82% of respondents reported that digital transformation is currently a high priority at their companies, with only 2% reporting it as a low priority. Additionally, 94% of respondents said that they believe that leveraging the next generation of technology will be a bigger revenue driver at their companies in 2020 than it was in 2019. At the same time, the survey showed Canadian financial services professionals revealed that there are still many obstacles to overcome.

A Year of Success in Digital Transformation

Over the past year, financial services professionals have noted increased success in their companies’ digital transformation. More than half (63%) of respondents rated their companies’ digital transformation efforts an “A” or “B,” up from 48% last year.[1] Only 37% of respondents gave their companies a “C” or below, while in 2018 more than half gave their companies a low mark.

Lower costs, increased productivity and increased customer advocacy, loyalty and retention were ranked as the top-three areas where respondents saw the most direct benefit of company growth from digital transformation.

When asked which Canadian actors and their movies or TV series best describes their company’s experience with digital transformation to date, almost half (49%) of the survey respondents chose Star Trek, starring William Shatner and denoting optimism. Other actors and movies depicting companies’ paths to digital transformation include: Cobie Smulders in Safe Haven as neutral with 22%, Ryan Gosling in First Man as accomplished with 11%, Seth Rogen in Long Shot as unconvinced with 10%, and Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara in Schitt’s Creek as negative with 7%.

Asked about onboarding challenges, respondents noted lack of resources and legacy technology as the biggest hurdles to successful digital transformation. Tied for third place were regulatory compliance and data analytics.

“Across the Canadian financial services industry, more and more companies are recognizing the impact of digital transformation and the benefits that come with implementing digital technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), blockchain and cloud,” said Michael Dignam, President of Canadian Securities Processing Solutions at Broadridge. “As companies seek to leverage these technologies to transform their businesses and enrich their customer engagement, Broadridge is partnering with them to drive the innovation roadmap and develop solutions that allow our clients to get ahead of today’s challenges and capitalize on tomorrow’s opportunities.”

The ABCDs of Innovation™ Paving the Way

AI remained the biggest driver in terms of business impact, but cloud has gained some momentum on this front. When asked what technology will have the most significant impact on their company over the next year, 50% of respondents said AI, slightly lower than the 58% of respondents who said AI in 2018. Forty-one percent of respondents said cloud will have the most significant impact, up from 31% last year, and 9% stated blockchain, down from 11% in 2018.

The survey of 101 Canadian financial services professionals was conducted at Broadridge’s annual client event in Toronto on December 4, 2019.

About Broadridge

Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: BR), a $4.5 billion global Fintech leader, is a leading provider of investor communications and technology-driven solutions to banks, broker-dealers, asset and wealth managers and corporate issuers. Broadridge's infrastructure underpins proxy voting services for over 50 percent of public companies and mutual funds globally, and processes on average more than U.S. $8 trillion in fixed income and equity securities trades per day. Broadridge is part of the S&P 500® Index and employs over 12,000 associates in 17 countries.

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