Given the prevailing financial infrastructure that exists today, international transfers continue to remain costly, time-consuming and risky—and even more so when there is a need to exchange currency. Such transactions normally undergo a series of stages that invariably include the involvement of intermediary parties and the foreign-exchange market
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.
“We put our clients’ interests at the heart of what we do and strive to offer them at all times a high-quality service and relevant solutions.” That is one of the four cornerstones that make up the overarching business strategy of KBC Group, the Brussels-headquartered bank-insurer that has emerged over the last few years as one of Europe’s strongest and most formidable financial institutions.
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.
International Banker travels to Belgium to interview Mr. Johan Thijs, CEO of KBC Group, on the banks flourishing performance in banking and insurance, its expanding presence outside of Belgium and the business culture which has made the group successful.
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.