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On balancing cost management with higher investment spend, Jablko said in 2020 the bank reduced “business as usual” costs by almost the same amount as investment spend was increased.
“Some of what we’ve been working on in previous years, we started to get some of the benefits come through this year,” she said.
“COVID-19 also accelerated changes in customer preferences which led to us being able to interact with our customers more through digital channels. [This] also helped us on costs.”
Jablko acknowledged that although the initial “sharp, severe” economic shock predicted by the bank at its half-year result didn’t play out as expected, it was still forecasting a slightly longer time-frame for recovery.
“We feel more of the stress is probably around some of our smaller business customers and particularly those in [particular] geographies or segments,” Jablko continued.
You can hear the full conversation in the video above.
Andrew Cornell is Managing Editor of bluenotes