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WSBI Innovation Conference Day 1 news

WSBI Innovation Conference Day 1 news

​​​Experts from around the world share success stories, insight on digitisation

>> Learn more about the conference​ 

>> Update: Day 2 news

>> Read: Chris De Noose's remarks

>> See: Position on digitisation

BRUSSELS, 26 January 2017 – Locally focused, customer-driven savings and retail banks are embracing the digital wave sweeping the financial sector, according to industry experts taking part in the WSBI Innovation Conference being held this week in Brussels.

The two-day event that starts today brings together WSBI-ESBG members to show how they are harnessing digitisation and technology to serve their customers better. They join policymakers, stakeholders, technology experts attending the conference to exchange best practices and to discuss the need for innovation-friendly public policy. Under the theme "Gearing up for Digitisation: Adapting Retail Banking to the Digital Age", the event showcases the innovation-savvy of members from a dozen countries in Asia, Europe, and the Americas as well as insight from fintechs and mature, tech-driven firms like Amazon and IBM.

​The conference, which includes 30 speakers and presenters, kicked off with opening remarks from WSBI-ESBG Managing Director Chris De Noose, who noted: "A rapidly changing financial services landscape requires relentless innovation from the banking sector. Member banks are striving to build the future of banking and demonstrate it at events like this."

A look at Day 1

Following Mr De Noose's remarks​, the first panel looked at how innovation disrupts other economic sectors. A keynote speech followed by member Caixabank's Deputy Chairman Antonio Massanell, who chairs the WSBI-ESBG High Level Group on Digitalisation & Innovation. The morning ended with a look at retail banking products and services in the digital age with a mix of member banks and fintechs. The afternoon sessions explored revamping banks' back-office with banking technology and larger tech-related firms. Next was a panel on cyber-security defence with experts from organisations that focus on behavioural biometrics and anti-phishing. The final Day 1 panel, "Happiness is a journey, not the destination" included three WSBI-ESBG members banks who showed how banks can offer a seamless integration of new and traditional distribution channels for all customers.

​Summing up the first day of the conference, De Noose added: "Innovation requires a mindset change. Bringing that about comes from idea exchange and dialogue with members and industry experts as well as policymakers, who can build a framework that helps, not hinders innovation."

​Day 2 preview: branch banks, financial inclusion

Friday's programme features a morning keynote address by EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger, who spent the last two years leading the EU executive body's digital agenda. WSBI President Heinrich Haasis will give welcoming remarks, touching on the importance of digitialisation and banking. Two panels round out the day, focusing on the future of the branch and another on new technologies and financial inclusion, which includes WSBI's newest member – State Bank of India. Jürgen Ingels, Founder of Eggsplore, on also address the conference, speaking on "From fintechs to tech4fin". 

>> See the Day 2 programme


Notes to editors:


About the World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI)

WSBI represents the interests of 6,000 savings and retail banks globally, with total assets of $14tn and serving one billion customers in nearly 80 countries (as of 2014). WSBI focuses on international regulatory issues that affect the savings and retail banking industry. It supports the aims of the G20 in achieving sustainable, inclusive, and balanced growth, and job creation, whether in industrialised or less developed countries. WSBI favours an inclusive form of globalization that is just and fair, supporting international efforts to advance financial access and financial usage for everyone. 


ESBG – The Voice of Savings and Retail Banking in Europe

ESBG brings together nearly 1000 savings and retail banks in 20 European countries that believe in a common identity for European policies. ESBG members represent one of the largest European retail banking networks, comprising one-third of the retail banking market in Europe, with 190 million customers, more than 60,000 outlets, total assets of €7.1 trillion, non-bank deposits of €3.5 trillion, and non-bank loans of €3.7 trillion. ESBG members come together to agree on and promote common positions on relevant regulatory or supervisory matters. 

Innovation; Digitalisation; European Institutions; European Supervisory Authorities (EBA-ESMA); Branch management; Banking Technology