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Finding the Next Wave to Ride


This comprehensive guide, authored by noted fintech expert Ron Shevlin, dovetails off the theme of Cornerstone’s 2023 report and provides a detailed analysis aimed at answering the question, “Where is the banking industry headed in 2024?”

In 2024, smart banks and credit unions will be looking for their next wave to ride toward a new future and destination.

That "next wave" isn't simply deploying new technologies. It's finding and using technology to create new strategies and strategic directions. This year’s report explores the latest banking and fintech trends and delivers a deep dive into the strategic, operational, and technology-related plans of 359 community banks and credit unions surveyed by Cornerstone Advisors.



Study Results Featured In

American Banker
The Financial Brand
ABA Banking Journal

Quotes from Study Participants and Readers

"The term ‘digital transformation’ provides false hope that financial institutions will get to an endpoint and ‘transform.’ If we want to succeed in this fast-paced, changing market, we need to shift our thinking toward digital evolution."


- Brian Alfano

Chief Digital Officer, Oregon Community Credit Union 

"It's an interesting time where income is compressed in the same period where tech investment and talent are at their highest importance and cost."


- Jill Castilla

CEO, Citizens Bank of Edmond

"Midsize and smaller community banks and credit unions are being squeezed out of the market at an even faster rate. So many forces working against us there are more and more times when I feel like I'm on the Titanic.”


- Financial Institution Senior Executive

"Ron continues to raise the bar on what defines thought leadership..."


- Jason Henrichs

Chief Executive Officer, Alloy Labs Alliance 

"Just finished reading... excellent report!"


- Robert Woods

Financial Services Industry Consultant 

"EVERY #fintech needs to read this report. 

Stop asking CEO's, CDO's, COO's, CFO's and CIO's 'what's keeping them up at night'. Read this report and you have your own personal crystal ball.

Thanks Ron Shevlin and Cornerstone Advisors."


- Derek Corcoran

SVP Financial Services Strategy, Woodridge Software 

"I'm here for the classic rock references."


- David Rothstein

Senior Principal, Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund 

"#mustread 👍👍👍✅✅✅"


- Tom Shen

Board Member, CSI

Key Findings of the Study

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  • Six in 10 bankers are optimistic about the industry’s prospects for the coming year (up 5% from last year). Yet 52% anticipate a recession or downturn in the economy.
  • The percentage of financial institutions that view Big Tech and megabanks as threats increased significantly for 2024.
  • 15% of banks plan to reduce their technology spending in 2024—the largest percentage in the history of What’s Going On In Banking.
  • 23% of banks and 27% of credit unions say they’ll never be done with their digital transformation strategies. (Cornerstone applauds these institutions.)
  • Creating new products and services is banks’ No. 1 objective for fintech partnerships in 2024. For credit unions, it is improving deposit account opening productivity.

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New Podcast Episode Available Now

Join Cornerstone Advisors Chief Research Officer Ron Shevlin and President and Partner Steve Williams as they present key findings from the 2024 What’s Going On In Banking study and explore what 2024 holds in store for community-based financial institutions.


About the Author
Ron Shevlin

As Chief Research Officer at Cornerstone Advisors, Ron Shevlin heads up the firm’s research efforts and authors many of its studies. He has been a management consultant for more than 30 years, working with leading financial services, consumer products, retail, and manufacturing firms worldwide. Before Cornerstone, Shevlin was a researcher and consultant for Aite Group, Forrester Research, and KPMG. Author of the Fintech Snark Tank blog on Forbes, Shevlin is ranked among the top fintech influencers globally and is a frequent keynote speaker at banking and fintech industry events.

Ron Shevlin, Chief Research Officer at Cornerstone Advisors

Cornerstone Advisors

At Cornerstone Advisors, our goal is to deliver tangible business impact to financial institutions and fintechs. We know that when institutions improve their strategies, technology, and operations, enhanced financial performance naturally follows. Because we live by the philosophy that businesses can’t improve what they don’t measure, we show banks, credit unions, and fintechs how to use laser-focused measurement to make smarter technology decisions.

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