|Foresight CommitteeDepartment of Trade and Industry
Office of Science & Technology
1 Victoria Street
T: 02072155000 F: 02072156715
Deputy Director Andrew Jackson
Foresight was launched by the government in 1994 "to help people in business academia and government take account of the future in the decisions they make today."
The Financial Services Foresight Reports were published in 2000
The idea was to investigate the face of banking in 2010 - lots of speculation, but the financial services interests present were mainly interested in future profit margins, and seemed mainly to promote the end of cheque clearing, the need for more consumer 'education' in the need for financial products, the end of funding for health care, old age care etc.. some speculation as to where the funding could come from - general (financial services) agreement that there was a substantial reserve of unmortgaged property out there that was worth exploiting...
Also general belief that face to face services would cease and 'on line' would be the way - reducing overheads and maximising profit
NABICs views were:
The process is skewed because those contributing to this influential survey are either large institutions supported by substantial research and presentational resources who can promote their own prejudiced view of the future - or small groups or individuals who can have nothing like the same impact on the discussions.
That rather than produce 'one off' views like the Financial Services report, the Internet would allow an ongoing discussion that could present a rolling live summary preview of conditions in 10 years.
Face to face services will continue to be required alongside remote banking. Cheques will continue to be used by both small business and individuals unless secure cheap and reliable alternatives are available.
Customers should not be expected to educate themselves to buy the right product - the market should be selling simple and cost effective protections.
The financial services contribution to the report boils down to a request to maintain a profitable monopoly on the provision of ever more complex services - the real consumer need is for greater competition and real control. The reality should be somewhere in between.
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Last update 08-05-04