The Banking Dive Outlook on 2021


Note from the editor

Momentum propelling the trends that may take focus in 2021 must be harnessed, sustained or created.

Harness. Cryptocurrency, for example, has all the hype in the world: The value of Bitcoin has seen a fourfold rise over the past 12 months. And some regulators — notably the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency — has laid down a few ground rules for the space. Mainstream investors may still be reluctant to broach digital coins, but their resurgence since the start of the coronavirus pandemic shows they have staying power. The question is how authorities can keep up with innovation.

Sustain. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) stances are no longer a novelty. In earlier years, the question might have been how decarbonization investments, for instance, are quantified. The year 2020 shifted ESG from a climate-dominant concept to one that leads with social justice. The calls for racial inclusion and financial equality put a human face to what was once a space whose focus was no smaller than the entire planet. This year, then, the challenge becomes how to maintain progress and establish accountability after the first wave of change has settled.

Create. The change in presidential administrations represents a pendulum swing of sorts. It's not that alternative credit data or fair lending, for example, were nonexistent in the Trump years. But they were muted. As the Biden presidency ramps up, the test is how to move issues like those closer to the center of the conversation.  

Banking Dive has collected some pieces that show how these and other topics could shape the year ahead. We hope you find them valuable to better serve your customers' needs.

Dan Ennis Editor

4 banking trends to watch in 2021

Banking Dive expects M&A to pivot toward niches, race to be a continuing focus of ESG, and crypto to have a make-or-break year in 2021.

• Published Jan. 20, 2021

What's in store for challenger banks in 2021?

As the challenger bank market continues to attract venture capital, new users and even celebrity endorsements, how will the momentum and hype surrounding this new way to bank continue into 2021?

• Published Jan. 25, 2021

Alternative credit data, fair lending may take focus under Biden

Among his first actions as president, Joe Biden signed an executive order to extend the pause on student loan payments through Sept. 30.

• Published Jan. 21, 2021

The Banking Dive Outlook on 2021

There are three ways to keep the narratives surrounding cryptocurrency, fair lending and the fight for racial equality in finance from losing steam.

included in this trendline
  • 4 banking trends to watch in 2021
  • An overview of what’s in store for challenger banks in 2021
  • A look at the banking issues gaining the Biden administration’s focus
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Produced by our team of award-winning journalists, these Outlooks can help businesses navigate the uncertain road ahead in 2021.
Davide Savenije Editor-in-Chief at Industry Dive.