Banking on Banks: How the cost of living is changing demand for financial services in Europe

Executive summary of Banking on Banks

Europe is currently in the grips of a cost of living crisis, with millions of beleaguered households on the continent in desperate need of help as spiralling inflation and rising prices play havoc on their finances.

Many European governments have introduced a raft of measures designed to ease the pressure. The French government, for example, has fully nationalised energy company EDF in an attempt to tackle the energy crisis and shore up domestic supplies, whilst in Germany a €9 a month ticket scheme, covering travel on all modes of urban and regional transport, has been introduced to prompt commuters and holidaymakers to leave the car at home.

Despite such interventions, the situation looks set to worsen and many people are now looking for help and support from different sources. To better understand this, in July 2022 we surveyed 7,000 consumers across key European markets – France, Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and the UK.

The findings expose the level of impact Europeans expect the cost of living crisis to have on their finances. In response, people across these markets told us they plan to take drastic action to rein in their spending, as well as turning to a range of third parties for financial support. Among those they would most likely turn to are their banks and other financial providers. The European financial services sector clearly has a more important role than ever to play in supporting consumers during these difficult times, but there remains a number of obstacles to overcome.

Our report highlights a fractious relationship between consumers and the financial institutions they often depend on. Regardless of where they live in Europe, people share the same attitude; they want their banks and other lenders to do much more to support them during this unprecedented crisis. Yet there remains an underlying lack of trust by consumers in financial services across Europe, especially when it comes to their financial data – a prominent consideration as governments and financial sectors across Europe seek to harness the power of innovations like open banking and the benefits that data sharing can bring.

We live in an age of big data and instant information, with the potential for companies to know their customers in deeper detail than ever before. By embracing the latest innovations in open banking data, categorisation and analytics, banks and other financial institutions can better understand and serve their customers, quickly and accurately offering tailored products and services that meet their specific needs. Customers also crave better, more intuitive online offerings from banks, wanting to see the same level of fast, simple and digital-first services which they’ve become accustomed to in other areas of
their lives.

Technology like open banking and innovations in the digital journey promote a mutually beneficial relationship. Through a deeper understanding of their customers, lenders can lend with more confidence, ensuring that people who may in other conditions be rejected can now get the support they need to weather this storm, without increasing risk. And providers can enable consumers to access this support in a way which is convenient, intuitive and complements the rest of their digital lives.

Through adoption of the right innovations in data, analytics and digital services, individual providers can improve their offer to customers and help to enhance consumer trust across the sector at this crucial time.

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In accordance with the legislation in force on the protection of personal data, CRIF S.p.A., located at Via Fantin 1-3, 40131 Bologna, Italy, VAT No. 02083271201 (“CRIF”), as the Controller for the processing of your personal data, must provide you with certain information concerning the use of such data. 1 – Purpose of the processing of personal data and lawful basis of the processing 1.1 – Purpose and lawful basis of the processing Your personal data is processed by CRIF for the following purposes: a) for the purpose of fulfilling contact requests. Lawfulness of processing: art. 6(1)(b) of the GDPR. b) for marketing and/or information purposes, as well as market analysis and initiatives related to CRIF activities, including via automated calling systems (e.g., SMS, MMS, e-mail, fax). Lawfulness of processing: art. 6(1)(a) of the GDPR. c) purpose of sharing/transferring your data with/to CRIF Group companies (refer to link https://www.crif.it/chi-siamo/la-nostra-presenza-globale/ to fulfill contact requests. Lawfulness of processing: art. 6(1)(b) of the GDPR. The provision of personal data for the purposes referred to in point (b) is optional, and the related processing requires the consent of the data subject; any refusal to provide consent will not give rise to any consequences. The provision of data for the purposes referred to in points (a) and (c) is necessary and does not require consent. The user is free to not provide this information, but in this case we will not be able to fulfill your requests. After the initial telephone/e-mail contact, if the user decides not to subscribe to any service or to purchase any product or states that he/she does not want to be contacted again, the Controller will cancel the user’s details. 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In this regard, you can withdraw consent for the processing of personal data for the purposes described in point 1.1 (b) at any time by e-mailing: dirprivacy@crif.com. 3 – Methods of data processing 3.1 Data processing is carried out using manual, computerized and ICT tools according to methods strictly related to the purposes themselves and, in any case, in a way that guarantees the confidentiality and security of the data. 4 – Categories of subjects to which personal data can be communicated or who may become aware of such data 4.1 – To achieve the purposes described in point 1.1 “Purpose and lawful basis of the processing” of this Privacy Policy, CRIF may communicate your personal data to third parties belonging to the following categories: a) personnel authorized to perform the processing, or third-party subjects appointed as processors; b) CRIF Group companies, including outside the European Union, which will act as independent controllers and will provide their own privacy notice in accordance with art. 14 of the GDPR. 5 – Transfer of data outside the European Union 5.1 To achieve the purposes described in point 1.1 letter c) “Purpose and lawful basis of the processing” of this Privacy Policy, CRIF may also communicate your personal data to CRIF Group companies based outside the European Economic Area. 5.2 The above transfer may be put in place, without specific authorizations, if the third country to which the data is transferred falls under those which guarantee an adequate level of protection according to the European Commission. In the absence of such an adequacy decision adopted by the European Commission, this transfer to recipients located in third countries can be carried out by adopting and documenting the sufficient guarantees referred to in art. 46 of the GDPR. In the absence of an adequacy decision or additional guarantees, the transfer of personal data to recipients located in third countries can be carried out if the terms are met and the additional conditions set out by Chapter V of the GDPR exist, including the possibility to make use of the derogations for specific situations in art. 49 of the GDPR. 5.3 A list of countries where CRIF Group companies operate is available at: https://www.crif.it/chi-siamo/la-nostra-presenza-globale/ 6 - Data Subject rights 6.1 According to Chapter III of the GDPR, as the Data Subject, you have the right to (i) obtain confirmation of whether personal data relating to you is being processed, obtaining the information listed in article 15 of the Regulation; (ii) obtain rectification of inaccurate personal data regarding you or to have incomplete personal data completed; (iii) obtain deletion of personal data regarding you, pursuant to and with the limitations set out in article 17 of the Regulation; (iv) obtain the restriction of processing of your personal data, in the cases specified in article 18 of the Regulation; (v) receive the personal data concerning you in a structured and machine-readable format, in the cases specified in article 20 of the Regulation; (vi) oppose the processing of personal data pursuant to and with the limitations set out in article 21 of the Regulation, even only for automated contact; and (vii) withdraw consent at any time, without prejudice to the lawfulness of the processing based on the consent given prior to the withdrawal. 7 - Controller 7.1 The Controller responsible for the processing of personal data is CRIF S.p.A., Via Mario Fantin 1‐3, 40131 Bologna, Italy, VAT No. 02083271201. A complete list of Processors is available from the Controller’s head office. The following methods can be used to exercise the rights set out in Chapter III of the GDPR: - e-mail sent to the address: dirprivacy@crif.com; - certified e-mail sent to the address: crif@pec.crif.com 7.2 You can also submit a complaint to the Italian Data Protection Authority, following the instructions via the link: http://www.garanteprivacy.it/web/guest/home/docweb/-/docweb-display/docweb/4535524. 8 – Data Protection Officer 8.1 For any questions regarding the processing of your personal data, you can contact the Data Protection Officer at: e-mail: dirprivacy@crif.com: Certified e-mail: crif@pec.crif.com.