Top Trends in Global Retail Lending 2020-2021

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26 March 2020

COVID-19 Mandates Faster Transition of Business and Technology Strategies

Key research questions

  • What industry, economic and technology trends will impact retail lending markets during 2020-2021, and how?
  • How should financial institutions alter current business strategies to adapt to changing market conditions globally and regionally?
  • How should business-strategy-led technology initiatives shift between running, growing, and transitioning the business?


In Top Trends in Global Retail Lending 2020-2021: COVID-19 Mandates Faster Transition of Business and Technology Strategies, Celent maintains that a market inflection point from steady loan demand to declining loan volume mandates a shift in business and technology strategy to successfully navigate increasing competition for less business. The report includes an analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on global lending markets and how financial institutions and retail lenders should respond.

Many global retail lending industries have been growing and profitable for many years. Global economic growth has been positive in most regions for a decade, and at 11 years in the United States is the longest economic expansion in recorded modern business history. This growth has helped drive technology investment by traditional financial institutions, but it has also created co-opetition between these institutions and Big Tech and fintech competition.

This report’s analysis follows a flow based on the logic that business market and lending industry trends are major drivers of financial institution business strategy. Those business strategies should in turn drive the technology initiatives selected, and their priority for project funding and implementation.

This report will address:

• The lending market trends driving business growth and transformation globally.

• Specific lending trends across global regions, and the possibility of recession during the next 12-24 months.

• The need to shift from a rapid growth strategy to a mixed model with contingency plans for changing growth strategies and risk policies.

• How should business-strategy-led technology initiatives should shift between running, growing, and transitioning the business.

In early 2020, the major questions have shifted from: “Is it different this time? Will the current economic growth cycle continue for a few more years?” to “How quickly will COVID-19 push economies into recession, and how should we respond?”.