Can you trust your data? TrustQuay and Viewpoint’s latest Future Focus Report finds that data quality now tops the agenda in corporate, trust and funds services.

Future Focus Report highlights:

  •  77% of firms say that data quality is now their top business challenge
  •  2 out of 3 firms say improving data quality is a priority for 2024
  • 41% of firms are still using spreadsheets and manual processes to manage client information

Data quality is now the biggest issue facing firms

Every year since our first Future Focus report three years ago, we've asked corporate, trust and funds services providers to identify the top three business challenges they face. The same challenges have stood out each year – it seems that for many firms, getting the fundamentals right is still the priority.

However, one issue that has rocketed up the agenda has been data quality. While it has consistently appeared in the top business challenges, our survey shows its importance has significantly increased – this year, 77% of respondents named it as their top challenge, up from 44% three years ago.

Coming in second was increasing efficiencies and reducing costs, named by 75% of respondents. Given the deterioration of the business climate, we find it unsurprising that the issue of margins and productivity remain very front-of-mind for firms.

The third business challenge was regulatory burden, named by 67%, as firms continue to struggle with the ever-rising tide of regulation imposed in the wake of the financial crisis. This, coupled with demands from regulators for greater transparency and reporting, remains a constant difficulty for firms with often limited compliance resources.

While regulatory burden and increasing efficiencies to reduce costs have consistently been cited within the top 3 challenges in our surveys over the past four years, there now appears to be increasing recognition of the role that data quality plays as a prerequisite to addressing these challenges.

Improving data quality

 When we asked firms to rate the quality of their data, the overall score was poor – only six out of ten, and only 41% have put in place a consistent operating model to manage data.

Worryingly, nearly half of firms say they are still relying on spreadsheets and manual processes to manage client information, with 74% of firms concerned about their ability to manage risk.

For corporate, trust and funds services providers, having accurate, reliable and accessible data is fundamental to the delivery of 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.

It impacts every aspect of a firm's operations, from document management and compliance, through to client reporting and interaction with regulators. In today’s tougher economic environment, it is clear that data quality is an issue that cannot be ignored.

As an industry, we need to talk about data. Firms need to 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, working in partnership with providers to help them define and achieve their goals. This year, TrustQuay and Viewpoint have launched a step-by-step improvement guide to help firms unlock the power of data integrity.

By working together, we believe the corporate, trust and funds services sector will be able to move beyond the current issues and challenges that are holding back growth, and be able to realise the full benefits to margins, profitability, enterprise value and client service that digitalisation and automation bring.

To access the full Future Focus Report, please click this link.

About the Author

Gemma Beard

Growth Marketing Manager