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Why 2021 will be a major test for consumers and banking sector

Ben Elliott
Ben Elliott2/26/2021 7:0 AM GMT+08  • 5 min read
Why 2021 will be a major test for consumers and banking sector
As the world reels from the impact of Covid-19, the future of banks will depend on their willingness to transform and innovate.
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As we move further into 2021, the issues of health, resilience and livelihood will continue to prey on the minds of many people. With further measures announced in Europe following the second wave of Covid-19, alongside rising unemployment rates, there will be challenges ahead for both consumers and businesses.

2020 was the first time in 60 years when 45 economies across developing Asia contracted in economic growth. Fortunately, recovery is forecast to resume and growth is expected to rebound strongly in 2021. The recent announcement of Covid-19 vaccines has provided hope that the pandemic will be better controlled, giving confidence and much needed stimulus to the region.

The road to recovery, however, will be an uneven one. Twice as many consumers worldwide are having problems paying their bills since Covid-19, according to Experian’s recent data, and more than a fifth are struggling to pay their credit card and utility bills since the pandemic. Consumers in Asia Pacific (APAC) are spending less in response to increasing financial hardship, whilst seeking more assistance from banks.

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