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Speech: WSBI President Haasis on digitisation

Speech: WSBI President Haasis on digitisation

​​Says future is being haped by digital, political forces



>> Learn more about the conference

>> See related news story



​​​​​Welcome and introduction of Commissioner Oettinger

by WSBI President Heinrich Haasis


​WSBI Innovation Conference : "Gearing up for Digitisation -

Bringing Retail Banking to the Digital Age"


​26-27 January 2017

Radisson Blu Hotel, Brussels


Good morning.


Thank you for joining us on Day 2 of the WSBI Innovation Conference. 

​Yesterday, during Day 1 of the conference, we looked at how innovation and digitisation effects banking, retail banking products and services, and how it changes our day-to-day back office work.



Before we move to our first panel, I would like to take some time to discuss the main force driving innovation: digitalisation. Digitisation changes the way we look at banking. Commissioner Oettinger will share his insights on this front from a policy lens. We value his opinion in his former role as "digital chief" at the Commission and his years of insights into business, innovation and policy. Let me thank you, Commissioner Oettinger, for joining us today.

As the "digital wave" sweeps the planet, what will the future look like? We know old ways of client contact are being replaced by "quick touch" apps. Face-to-face, or "high-touch" customer service, is the future. It truly is a brave new world!

At WSBI, we view it this way: Whether its bricks, clicks or flicks, the 'New Normal' means banks must learn and change – and do this fast. 

Technology has changed how we live, how we bank, and how banks work. That includes how we pay for things, how we save and how we work with a bank. Clients, especially Millennials, will expect more, and demand even easier ways to connect via smartphones. 

The future will be shaped by political forces too. Banks already face a landscape where rules have changed and have grown. The post-crisis period has not only been a change for banks, but for policymakers and regulators too. 

Policymakers need to recognize the valuable role of savings and retail banks in local communities.  They should know their role as a financial catalyst for small and medium-sized companies.

At WSBI, our message to policymakers on how best to support the switch to a digital banking future is clear.

Policy should address:

  • New risks that come with digital banking;

  • The need for a level playing-field for banks and new entrants; and

  • The need to avoid a one-size-fits-all approach to banking rules. We need  a proportional and fair framework. This would help support a more robust and diverse financial services sector. 

  • And finally, pPolicy should help create a climate for innovation, not hamper progress. When good policy is in place, banks are in a strong position to innovate. 

 I am confident that with the right framework, the best of banking is yet to come!


Day 2: The future of branch banking

Moving on, today – on Day 2 – we will explore the future of banking innovation from more angles. Today's event brings experts from Asia, Europe and Latin America. They will deal with some strategic questions that banks face today in their goal to innovate.

One such question is: does the bank branch have a future?

For me personally, the answer is "yes". But as banking moves ahead, so must the branch. The future will see closer contact with clients when they enter a branch AND when they turn on their smartphone...moments when clients do visit their local branch will be more important than ever. It's the moment where a banker and client go beyond transactions.

Clients will ask for advice, not to make simple transactions. That means we must find new, more impactful ways to work with clients to build their financial future. They need to help them better reach their financial goals. We will have plenty of examples today from the panel focusing on the future of the branch.

Following that panel, we welcome Jürgen Ingels, Founder of Eggsplore on "From fintechs to tech4fin".

​After that, a world-class panel will look at "New technologies and financial inclusion." 

A representative from one of our newest members – State Bank of India – will join that debate.


Introduction of Günther Oettinger

But before then, we have now the honour of welcoming to the podium today's keynote speaker – Commissioner Günther Oettinger. ommissioner Oettinger recently started a new role as European Commissioner for Budget & Human Resources. Prior to then, he was European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society – one of the Commission's top priorities. While in that role he prepared ambitious steps towards a connected Digital Single Market.

With so much time focusing on the digital front, we very much look forward to his talk. As long-standing colleagues and friends from many years together in the Parliament of Baden-Wuerttemberg in Germany, I also personally want to say: Thank you for joining us today.

Please welcome Commissioner Günther Oettinger.                                             


>> Learn more about the conference

>> See related news story


Digitalisation; Innovation; European Institutions; European Supervisory Authorities (EBA-ESMA)