Are banks being doomed by the emergence of competitors from the technology sector? This was the question that introduced the ABBL's Chairman's Dinner last night. According to Guy Hoffmann, Chairman of the ABBL, we have every reason to remain optimistic about the future of the banks.
However, in his view, banks need to adapt, in particular by succeeding in their digital transformation, while capitalising on the essential pillar of the banking profession, namely customer confidence.
The digital transformation of banks
Guy Hoffmann is convinced that banks need to join forces with FinTech to deliver seamless, personalised customer experiences.
Another area offering significant opportunities is that of pooling. He highlighted the ABBL's efforts and initiatives in these areas.
As far as customer confidence is concerned, he stressed that it rests on two pillars:
- governance, i.e. trust in the way banks make decisions
- consideration of the common interest.
"Banks should wholeheartedly embrace the principle of ‘shared value’, which aims to create economic value in a way that also creates value for society. It is a way of achieving real, widespread economic success."
For Guy Hoffmann, "if there is one subject where bankers can demonstrate their public utility, it is sustainable finance". He did, however, express his fears that over-regulation, a focus solely on risk management and a "tick the box" attitude could end up hampering initiatives.
To conclude and to reinforce his optimism concerning the future of banks, Guy Hoffmann pointed out to the fact that "in periods of doubt or faced with complex situations, clients tend to turn to those who can draw on their experience and not to newcomers".