WSBI President Heinrich Haasis
24th World Congress of Savings and Retail Banks
25 September 2015
"A vision for a digital agenda – How digitalization can approve access to finance"
Ladies and Gentlemen, good afternoon.
The 24th World Congress is coming to a close. For the past two days, we have looked closely, in deep detail, at how digital technologies are transforming our world of banking. We have have seen the way they have captivated customers and got some regulators in thrall. And we have recognized the scale of the challenge, and of the opportunity, they offer us.
But the question, before we depart, is what should we do as a result?
The last two days have taught us that there is so much "up-side" to the challenges ahead of us.
We have heard repeatedly here in Washington that digitization is changing the way we all approach our account holders, how we approach banking policy, and how we approach our business models.
Let's begin by thinking about the most urgent questions that have emerged from our talks, discussions and panels:
What do our customers expect?
Lets just remember that digitization is integral to our three core goals as retail and savings bankers:
Back to the digital wave, digitization can breathe new life into savings and retail banking, making our operations still better, whilst reinforcing the local touch.
We have heard plenty of success stories during this two-day meeting. We have heard about breakthrough products that are adapted to and even anticipate our clients' lifestyles and needs. We have been told of SMEs embracing a wave of new digital-based banking services, benefiting especially from the two way flow of information with their local banker.
Today, digitisation has placed us on the cusp of being better. But being better means we have to stay on the front foot, always advancing. The big prizes are still out there, awaiting innovations that our staff are only now beginning to draw on their increasing insights to imagine.
So for our industy, and for me as your president, today marks the end of the beginning. The end of the beginning for my mandate. And the end of the beginning for digitisation. Now we need to go back to work and start to sketch out just how far digitization can take our individual businesses, and how it can help us help our customers succeed in their lives and ambitions. For our success will be founded upon the success of our customers. And it is only by listening to them, and imagining the future with them, that we can ensure they and we thrive. Its a tall order. But we will do it.
I hope you share with me the prospect that the best is yet to come!
ends / all
>> See Heinrich Haasis's Opening Speech (German version)
>> See Heinrich Haasis's Closing Speech (German version)