The global financial crisis of 2007-08 left many marks behind, not the least of which has been increasingly complex financial regulation that has not been easy to uniformly enforce; meanwhile, digital technology is looming ever larger but has been relatively ignored by regulators, who are still coping with the decade-old crisis. The international regulatory debate should move towards a more forward-looking approach.
Without regulations, digitalisation is not feasible. New rules and laws are a headache for banks and increase the administrative burden while reducing client satisfaction. But they also create transparency and openness, which can lead to new and improved financial services. The challenge is how to provide new services in a customer-centric way. Regtech may be the solution.
Family-owned banks are a rarity today, but one, MoraBanc, can still be found in the tiny, mountainous European nation of Andorra. And it continues to serve its customers well, thanks in large part to the leadership of CEO Pedro González Grau, whose vision of a transformed business model has resulted during a short three-year time span in increased sustainability and, more importantly, customer trust and satisfaction.
Vietnam’s Asia Commercial Bank is enjoying a turn-around that most financial institutions would gladly embrace, posting one of its best performance years in 2016. The private bank’s success may lie in its practice of setting ambitious goals and objectives, then following through by using its competitive advantages to achieve them, providing the personal but innovative service that its varied customers demand.
Sub-Saharan African central banks are racing to enhance financial regulation, especially surrounding capital conservation and balance-sheet fortification. Ghana and Uganda are the latest to join the race having enforced ever stricter requirements on their banks, falling into step with the rest of the world in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.
Sweden’s Handelsbanken continues to buck the trend toward pooling bank operations into one centralized command post by living by its “church spire” vision—that is, that a bank’s reach should be limited to what can be seen from atop a church spire. Mats Ernborg, branch manager of Handelsbanken Strandvägen in Stockholm, discusses why this tried-and-true decentralization model works so effectively for his local customers.
Johan Thijs, CEO of Europe’s top bank-insurance group, KBC of Belgium, provides his insights into what has contributed to this financial giant’s success, evidenced by its strong profit track record. Nearly 20 years on, KBC has been in the advantageous position of being able to offer an unusually broad range of product and service choices to its customers, pushing it to the head of its class.
Europe is not the easiest place to conduct a profitable business these days, but you’d never know it looking at Monaco’s Compagnie Monégasque de Banque’s meteoric success. This private bank’s winning formula is simple in concept but not at all so in practice: placing its clients, and providing them with the highest standards of service, at the top of its guiding principles and values.
Private bankers and wealth managers have been competing amongst themselves for years, attempting to outdo one another in terms of offering the best service for the lowest fee; but today relatively low-cost disruptors, robo-advisors, are snatching away too much of that business. The remedy is a three-point strategy that proves that the value of the service offered by traditional providers justifies the higher fee.
Tsesnabank, a prominent universal bank headquartered in the Central Asian nation of Kazakhstan, is on an upward trajectory, and is reaping the profits and awards to prove it. Dauren Zhaksybek, chairman of the board of directors, shares his views on what Tsesnabank is getting just right while confronting the rapidly changing financial landscape in its home nation.