Investments and new generations: Looking to the future

Several financial crises over the past decades have created uncertainty and despondency among young people regarding the world of investments. Today, Millennials do not have complete confidence in the markets and this stems from a deep emotional state of mind. Precisely for this reason, it is important to fully understand and foster the needs of the new generations, to maintain, and in some cases, restore a relationship of trust. We are facing an arduous challenge, which must necessarily put us in front of a profound change.

During the pandemic, video counselling increased dramatically. However, once the lockdown ended, consultations went back to taking place predominantly in offices. Indeed, most clients are still not so inclined to completely give up human contact. Trust is an essential element, which is experienced one-to-one. It is difficult to convey empathy, sensitivity, competence and professionalism purely through a screen. Video consultations will continue to be an option for future customers, but without replacing face-to-face relationships.

A widespread phenomenon nowadays is online banks. Neo-banks that only operate online will never have a differentiated offer for each customer group. For more complex banking transactions, the majority of customers will still need personalised advice, which will continue to be predominantly offered on-site in the future. This is especially true for particular cases, such as inheritance issues, where family and emotional dynamics come into play in addition to financial assets. It becomes crucial, therefore, to allocate time and resources also to the construction and design of consulting rooms, which will increasingly assume the image of areas that evoke the spaces of home, spaces that are shared with a small group of trusted people.

On the other hand, it is important to highlight the power and potential of the new digital tools in meeting and responding to the increasing number of customer needs in a coordinated and synergetic manner. Artificial intelligence is a prime example of support for advisors during consultations with clients. Thanks to this, it is possible during an investment consultation to promptly show how the portfolio changes when buying a particular security. Moreover, as part of a mortgage consultation, it is possible to consider sustainability in various scenarios.

So, the bank of the past and the bank of today will not lose relevance in meeting customers' needs, but will have to review its organisation and priorities. One can assume that it will no longer be the customer who goes to the bank, but increasingly the consultant who will 'visit' the customer at his home. However, the human relationship, the direct contact, will not change. The figure of the consultant will be more and more complex. Multi-skilled profiles will be required. Knowledge of economics and finance will not be enough, but also excellent psychological, communicative and anthropological qualities. This is due to the fact that the human being is a social animal, perpetually changing and above all constantly evolving.

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