Tech gaps: Bank boardrooms continue to lack tech experience

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March 31, 2021 1:30 AM

An Accenture report reveals that only 10% of board directors at leading banks have professional tech experience; one-third of banks have no board members with technology experience

India had seized and sold shares of Cairn in its erstwhile India unit, confiscated dividend due and withheld tax refunds to recover the tax demand it had levied two years after passing a law in 2012 that gave it powers to levy tax retrospectively.India had seized and sold shares of Cairn in its erstwhile India unit, confiscated dividend due and withheld tax refunds to recover the tax demand it had levied two years after passing a law in 2012 that gave it powers to levy tax retrospectively.

Despite the significant increase in the adoption of digital technologies over the past few years, there is a continued lack of technology expertise and digital fluency in the boardrooms of the world’s largest banks, according to a new report from Accenture. The report, “Boosting the Boardroom’s Technology Expertise – Focus on Banking,” is based on an analysis of the professional backgrounds of nearly 2,000 directors of more than 100 of the world’s largest banks by assets.

It finds that while banks are ramping up their technology investments to keep pace with changing consumer demands – such as the growing need for digital interaction and remote working as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic – their boards of directors lack the technology expertise to minimise the risks and maximise the benefits of their technology investments.

Accenture recommends that 25% of banks’ board directors should have technology experience. While banks have made progress in adding technology experience in the boardroom—which Accenture defines as executives holding or having held senior technology positions at a company or senior responsibilities at a technology firm—that progress has been slow.

Only 10% of all board directors, as well as 10% of the CEOs on the boards, evaluated for the report have professional technology experience, up just 4 and 6% points, respectively, from five years ago. In addition, the number of banks whose board has at least one member with professional technology experience has increased only 10% points in the past five years, from 57% to 67% – meaning that one-third of banks still have no board members with professional technology experience.

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