Financial industry experts prep for summit

This story was edited from its original version on March 25, 2011.

The country’s top financial players gathered at the Ritz Carlton downtown today to give a sneak peek of what’s in store for the SIBOS 2011 Summit.

The summit, set for September in Toronto, will bring the financial service industry together in order to discuss market trends, connect with the community and discuss regulatory and technological challenges of day-to-day business.

Steve Gaskin, vice president of customer care at Scotiabank, said the summit provides financial service experts a chance to share ideas and brainstorm.

“Traditionally, the financial service industry is very protective of intellectual property and marketing ideas,” Gaskin said prior to the preview. “But times have changed and there has been a definite shift in the way we do business.”

The recent economic downturn has led many of Canada’s banks to restructure their service model and bring the focus back to enhanced customer service, he said.

“Customer retention is a huge part of our corporate identity right now,” he said. “It’s not just about bringing new clients on board, but how we can keep the ones we have and create a positive climate for them.”

While the summit in September will be a chance for the banking sector to meet and mingle, it will also give private vendors a chance to show off the latest in card technology and software.

David English, media representative with the Consumers’ Association of Canada, said customer safety is a key element to the advancement of banking technology.

“Privacy and security is more important to customers now than it ever has been,” he said. “We’ve just been through one of the worst recessions in the history of our country, and people want to feel safe. Having these vendors on hand to show of the latest and greatest in hardware and software validates not only the consumer, but the banks as well.”

Other key elements of the SIBOS summit will be the regulation of the banking sector and the changing landscape of Canada’s mortgage industry from a local and international perspective.