Speech from Kwasi Affum at the inaugural FutureBanking Conference


I am very grateful to Barclays for allowing this unique event to take place.

The inaugural FutureBanking Conference, hosted by Barclays Embrace Multicultural Network, brings together a carefully curated and inclusive community of colleagues, employees, Fintech start-up founders, and CEOs, along with young people, users, and other experts.

FutureBanking is a community that brings us together for an opportunity to challenge ourselves and challenge your own perceptions.

Not only the way things work today but the way we can work with technology in the future to profoundly make what we do as financial professionals even more inclusive going forward.

Our agenda today has been tailored to embrace, represent, and celebrate all people of all cultures.

On the other side of Black History Month, this Conference provides an opportunity to carry on celebrating diversity beyond the October deadline.

One thing that’s clear is the correlation between diverse teams and innovative thinking.
Diversity of thought is the key to our future success as an industry and a society.

I’ve recently read Matthew Syed’s excellent new book “Rebel Ideas”.

His central thesis, which I’m fully bought into, is that teams with cognitive diversity are stronger.

But he also cautions that authority may negate the benefits of this diversity if people feel they can’t speak up.

In my personal experience, Barclays is a company truly a commitment to appealing to under-represented groups in society and giving them a voice and platform.

As a financial services participant, Barclays is right at the heart of trying to make sure that not only do we as a company benefit but ultimately the sector as a whole takes full advantage of these incredible opportunities in front of us.

With the 4th Industrial Revolution upon us, it’s more important than ever to broaden the talent pool and attract or develop a more diverse pool of potential candidates.

This is a great environment for accidental collisions and an opportunity to form new relationships in a place where, for some of you, you may get to be very often.

But this a chance for everyone to meet people you wouldn’t normally get to connect with.
Embrace it and maybe new partnerships will form. Who knows, we may help to create a more inclusive financial ecosystem.

Today we are lucky to have an age-old institution like The Bank of England represented giving their long term view of what the future looks like. Alongside FinTechs, and their futurist leaders, all taking part in the same broad-based discussion.

We will hear about why the existing workforce will need to be up-skilled so that they are prepared, particularly those in roles most exposed to technological innovations like RPA…Robotics Process Automation.

You are also going to hear a lot of buzzwords today. Like blockchain & crypto, along with the acronyms DLT AI, ML, DL, NLP.

But hopefully, the difference between this event and others is that when you leave today they will all make sense for once!

Our hope is that you make the most of today and you will leave having identified ways to attract/retain or develop your own or others’ talent for the FinTech revolution.



FutureBanking Conference 2020

2nd November @ Barclays Global HQ

Sign-up here