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TrustQuay's Future Focus report raises concerns about data trust
Tue, 31st Oct 2023

As per TrustQuay and Viewpoint's recent Future Focus Report, 75% of corporate, trust and funds service firms do not have confidence in their data.

This new research divulges data quality as the crucial business challenge that firms face, even more pressing than increasing efficiencies, cutting costs, and regulatory burden handling.

Apart from the prevalent mistrust in their data, approximately half of the surveyed firms are still heavily dependent on spreadsheets and manual processes to handle client information, which brings their risk management capabilities into question, with 74% expressing concerns.

It was further revealed that firms generally scored the quality of their data at only six out of ten. At the same time, barely 41% have established a consistent operating model for data management.

The silver lining here is that the surveyed firms are becoming aware of the potential benefits of Artificial Intelligence (AI). An encouraging half of the respondents anticipate AI to have a progressively beneficial impact on data quality improvement.

The report highlighted that the emphasis is growing on improving data quality as a major priority by 2024, with two-thirds of the surveyed firms in agreement with this view.

On this matter, Paul White, the Chief Marketing Officer at TrustQuay, states that trusting your data and being confident of its reliability and accessibility is at the core of any firm's service delivery to its clients. He emphasises that data quality improvement is the key to business model digitalisation, thus contributing to improved efficiencies, cost reduction and less regulatory burden.

Speaking on the industry's role, White suggests that firms need to establish clear long-term ambitions, replace short-term solutions like spreadsheets, and consider a more aggressive digital strategy. 

Paul White comments: "Having trust in your data and the confidence it is accurate, reliable and accessible data is fundamental to a firm's ability to deliver their services to clients. But it's more than just this; firms are now recognising that improving data quality is the gateway for being able to digitalise business models and therefore dramatically improve efficiencies, reduce costs and lessen the regulatory burden."

"As an industry, we need to talk about data. Firms must look beyond short-term fixes like spreadsheets and adopt a more offensive digital strategy by better defining their longer-term ambitions."

"Technology providers also have an important role to play in this conversation and, by working in partnership, help firms move beyond the current data challenges holding back growth," says White. 

Stuart Geddes, Chief Information Officer at Ocorian, reiterates that good, reliable data is the springboard for process automation, opening avenues for higher efficiencies and cost reduction. Despite the current buzz around leveraging AI, he points out that without quality data, all such ambitions fall flat.

Stuart Geddes adds: “Once you’ve got good data that you can place reliance on, firms can then start to automate processes and therefore open up the ability to increase efficiencies and reduce costs."

"Everyone’s talking about leveraging AI, but I think the key takeaway is that you're absolutely dead in the water if your data is not in line.”

To compile the annual Future Focus Report, a global survey was conducted between June and September 2023, engaging 90 wealth managers, family offices, and corporate, trust and funds services providers.