Traditional banks, it’s never too late to act

to match Millennials’ expectations

Traditional banks face a new generation, the Millennials, who come with the need to reinvent banking. Designing a proper business model that will represent their core values and meet Millennials’ expectations is crucial for traditional banks to deal with this challenge.



Pascal Martino - [Sponsoring] Partner - Strategy Regulatory & Corporate Finance - Deloitte

Bernard Lecaillon - Director - Operations Excellence & Human Capital - Deloitte

Nedale Triyeh - Analyst - Operations Excellence & Human Capital - Deloitte

Catherine Vassen - Analyst - Strategy Regulatory & Corporate Finance - Deloitte

Published on 3 March 2020


The time has come to put accurate words on how Millennials are perceiving and rethinking traditional banks to meet their expectations. Born between 1980 and 1995, they challenge the today’s banking industry because their needs are not fully met. Traditional banks fail to understand them and to answer their expectations. Most of traditional banks were created in a different context, for a different generation and need today to update their business model. Answering to Millennials’ wishes will imply for those banks to reimagine their strategy and be able to offer the most appropriate experience to this generation who dares to challenge them and who tend to be attracted by new financial players…

How can traditional banks reinvent themselves to appeal to the Millennials and counter-attack new financial players’ threat?

The answer starts first with the understanding of Millennials’ expectations. To achieve this, Deloitte Luxembourg conducted a survey asking some Millennials to confirm or reject 5 Millennials’ clichés about their financial behaviour.

Cliché 1

Millennials believe traditional banks have no future

Millennials expect their bank to grow in the era of time to enjoy services adapted to their needs.

Concretely, they want to use latest generation tools, knowing that already 34% are using alternative payment methods and 41% out of the remaining 66% intend to use these alternative payment methods in the future.

This means that traditional banks need to reshape their old mindset and jump from historical paper money to digital and optimized experience.

Cliché 2

Millennials are not enough loyal to avoid them switching banks as soon as a better offer comes up

The economic world punctuated with financial crisis created a distrust in financial advisors from Millennials. More than half (59%) of the respondents believe their primary bank is not pursuing an accurate dynamic to retain them. Offering more transparency whilst addressing new challenges could be a relevant way to retain Millennials for 74% of the respondents.

However, Millennials’ loyalty is hard to obtain and to keep: 46% wish to remain at their primary bank but are also interested in having part of their portfolio with another financial player or bank. Thus, the survey confirms traditional banks remain Millennials’ first choice for complex financial products. If half of respondents trust new financial players for basic services (cards and account openings), 85% trust traditional banks for loans and insurance services instead of new financial players.

Cliché 3 Millennials see traditional banks as an old-fashioned place to store money

Only 43% of the respondents say that traditional banks well understand their needs regarding future plans and adapt their offer accordingly. Millennials expect their bank to be aware of their life and provide relevant advices.

46% think that banks should have both a proactive and executive role and are simply looking for a Best Financial Friend who can plan their life key decisions with them.

These moments are so important for them that they do not hesitate to start using a new service in another financial institution if their primary bank has no relevant advices to offer.

When facing those crucial moments, 36% chose another bank and 34% chose a new financial player.

The survey also highlights that moving abroad or making real estate investments were the most stated moments in life when they start using a new service in another financial institution. Furthermore, according to 66%, lower costs are inevitably a motivating factor to trust another financial actor.

Cliché 4

Millennials expect full digitization across all channel and don’t want to be bothered by their bank

Millennials want their bank to stop spamming. 83% of the respondents confirmed their willingness to be approached with personalized services.

Capturing Millennials’ attention requires then to adopt a catchy communication at the right time, the right moment, through their preferred channel, knowing that the most preferred communication channel is mobile phone apps for 46%.

Furthermore, 35% of the respondents access their app multiple times a week, which represent a strong visibility for banks to proactively communicate with them. Millennials are also exigent in the way banks should reach them. They are expecting to use the newest market features on their mobile bank app for 82% of the respondents to maintain their sense of belonging to a tech-savvy generation.

Cliché 5

Millennials place their values at the center of their decision-making

On one hand, Millennials want to express their values through profitable investments.

87% of the respondents appreciate seeing ethical, social and environmental practices in financial institutions.

Millennials are driven by a willingness to be impactful and committed to make their society and world better through sustainable financial actions.

On the other hand, Millennials are driven by a willingness to be financially successful and express their values through profitable investments like 67% of the respondents care who affirmed that they care more about financial return when it comes to investments.

The answer banks are deemed to provide must consider the question of their brand to be associated with eco-responsible values and acts.

Today’s banking strategy encompass the sizing of ESG investments opportunity to make a sustainable impact and offer at the same time profitable investments’ opportunities.


The results of the survey are without call. It is not only feasible but also necessary for traditional banks to hear, understand and answer to Millennials’ expectations. Devising a strategy that best enrich their client’s experience is within their reach if they ask themselves the right questions:

  • Have you considered that collaborating with new financial players could be a solution to meet Millennials’ expectations, as suggested by 81% of the respondents?
  • Are you providing enough transparency for your clients and enhancing your offers and services accordingly?
  • Are you offering an optimized and tailor-made experience to your clients to be an essential actor in their life projects?
  • Are you efficiently leveraging you clients’ proximity with your communication strategy?
  • Are you enough considering the importance of concrete incentives to offer profitable investments aligned with Millennials’ values?

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Banking for Millennials

The banking industry is continuously facing new challenges that mainly depend on the exigence of clients’ expectations. In a constant effort to ensure its ability to help solve clients’ most complex issues, Deloitte Consulting has conducted a market analysis in order to strengthen the completeness of its banking offering in Luxembourg.

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