For nearly 150 years, Belgium’s family-owned Degroof Petercam has held fast to its goal of actively taking care of its clients’ wealth and assets. For this progressive bank, “imagining tomorrow” is synonymous with creating an all-inclusive society in which everyone has a chance to thrive. In our interview, CEO Bruno Colmant and Group Head of Investment Banking François Wohrer describe how Degroof Petercam is transforming clients’ futures for the better.
Mr. Simon Hughes of International Banker travels to Belgium to interview Mr. Johan Thijs, Chief Executive Officer, KBC Group, on the bank’s ongoing digital transformation, the innovation that drives that transformation and KBC’s wider role in society.
Belgium’s KBC has since its inception 20 years ago been committed to meeting its customers’ multiple needs, helping them realize their dreams and protecting them as they achieved them. In the process, it grew into one of Europe’s top bank-insurers, today serving 11 million customers. But that enviable success is not enough. KBC is in the midst of a Digital First metamorphosis that is pushing through the known boundaries of customer service.
Interview with Mr. Johan Thijs, Chief Executive Officer, and Mr. Erik Luts, Chief Innovation Officer, KBC Group
KBC Group, one of Belgium’s top bank-insurers, is guided by its purpose to “help all our stakeholders realise their dreams and protect them”. With core markets across Europe, KBC is imbued by a corporate culture that it has dubbed with the acronym PEARL. Mr. Thijs and Mr. Luts describe how the bank-insurance group is employing its latest digital strategies to actualize its long-standing vision.
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.
Belgium’s KBC Group combines two financial services, banking and insurance, into one seamless, integrated whole. Its unique customer-centric model is so effective that KBC has been expanding into new markets, primarily in Central and Eastern Europe, thanks in no small measure to the visionary leadership of CEO Johan Thijs.
Following a period of political turmoil and uncertainty in the UK, the new prime minister, Theresa May, has taken a stand on her views for business reform. She has vowed to enforce worker representatives on boards as part of her vision of “putting people back in control”.
On June 8, the European Central Bank (ECB) began its Corporate Sector Purchase Programme (CSPP), which was initially announced by the bank’s president, Mario Draghi, on March 10 as an addendum to the ECB’s quantitative easing (QE) program.