Corporate Banking Research Outlook 2022

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Regaining Corporate Banking Momentum: Our 2022 Research Themes in Action

Last year, we introduced our 2021 research themes under the header of “leading in the post-pandemic world.” But, unfortunately, we were too optimistic – just as we thought we were getting to grips with the COVID-19 pandemic, the world was plunged into further turmoil by the war in Ukraine. The humanitarian crisis, rising energy costs and overall inflation, and the ongoing pandemic mean more uncertainty than ever.

This uncertainty is both a challenge and an opportunity for retail and corporate banks, as customers seek support, advice, and reassurance. By guiding customers through the uncertainty and helping tackle some of the significant issues facing economies, the sector can gain a strong sense of purpose, grow the bottom line, and ensure its ongoing relevance. But to deliver this change, banks need a new mindset and capabilities, not the least in technology.

Celent views technology as both an opportunity and a challenge for corporate banking. Against a backdrop of traditional, vertically integrated bank product delivery models alongside disruptive, agile plug-and-play fintech players, Celent outlined corporate banking technology priorities for 2022 under five themes in our new previsory report format – see the figure below. These five themes continue to guide our research agenda for 2020 in both retail and corporate banking.

  • Optimizing Customer Engagement and Delivery: our research consistently shows that customer engagement, experience, and delivery are top priorities. Using technology, banks have an opportunity to move from transaction- to relationship-based experiences, expanding delivery channels and touchpoints, as well as reinventing small business banking. One of our latest reports discusses Reinventing Small Business Credit Part 1: Market and Innovation Trends.
  • Embracing Disruptive Imperatives in Payments: the payments industry continues to change rapidly, and banks need to be ready to support new payment experiences for their customers. Yet, many banks are hampered by legacy technologies and determining how and when to modernize payment technology and whether the time is now for real-time payments, as discussed in The Road To US Real-Time Payments Adoption: Use Cases, Use Cases, Use Cases. Banks are also looking at how payment rails will enable the future and how stablecoins and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) could generate threats and opportunities.
  • Taking an Ecosystem Approach to Growth: open banking, banking as a service, and embedded finance are already hot topics in retail banking. In 2022 we will see pacesetters expand use cases for corporate banking and examine market opportunities and threats presented by an increasingly open ecosystem. Would You Like Better Banking with That Latte? is the latest example of insights produced in this area. As part of that open ecosystem, we also see banks continuing to redefine partnership models, creating new ways of working together.
  • Driving Product Innovation and Differentiation: as the technology arms race continues between the largest global banks, we see an increased focus on leveraging AI-powered actionable data to deepen client relationships and create new value-added services. In addition, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors are top of mind for banks and their corporate clients, with banks integrating those factors into their product and services strategy. As a result, several of our Model Bank winners demonstrated product innovation and differentiation, including U.S. Bank: Powering End-To-End Digital Accounts Payable and Citizens Financial Green Deposits: Supporting ESG Commitments for Corporate Clients.
  • Diversifying Technology Transformation Toolkit: none of the above opportunities would be possible without transforming the technology estate. We’ll continue to research how cloud, no/low code platforms, microservices, modularization, and distributed ledger technology (DLT) can help institutions in their digital transformation journeys. We also continued with the popular video interview series focusing on cloud in financial services and plan to publish a report on how banks accelerate innovation through technology in Q2. We will also publish reports based on our new Corporate Banking IT Spending research methodology.

Finally, as our long-standing clients know, the big focus in Q1 is announcing our Model Bank winners, which we did this year on March 16th as part of our annual Innovation and Insight event. We recognized 18 award-winning initiatives, which cover topics across all five themes. The case studies of each initiative are available to download for Celent Retail or Corporate Banking research clients, depending on the initiative’s focus.

We’ll always look to be nimble and respond to fast-moving developments in our research space. So, if you have a hot topic in mind where our research could add value to your organization, please get in touch, and we’ll endeavor to incorporate it into our research agenda for the rest of 2022.


We show a high level view of 2022’s outlook categorized by type of deliverable. We will continue to deliver different types of insights, from analysis of technology trends shaping the banking industry to vendor analysis. Note that we’ll be publishing Solution Briefs throughout the year, but there’s no way to predict what those topics will be.


  • Model Bank case studies from around the world (Q1 - published)
  • Corporate Banking Previsory 2023 (Q4)
  • Corporate Payment trends and technology (Q3)
  • Open Banking and APIs


  • IT Spending (Q2)
  • Asia-Pacific IT Priorities (Q3)
  • Corporate Digital Panel Series (Q2)


  • Small Business Banking Digital Channels – Global and NA editions (Q3)
  • Various Solution Briefs

Contact us for more information about what we have planned in Q2.

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