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WSBI members focus on opportunities, challenges digitalisation brings

WSBI members focus on opportunities, challenges digitalisation brings
Policymakers, regulators must provide regulatory environment that helps boost innovation














​​​​​​​​​WASHINGTON, D.C., 25 September 2015 – Top banking and policy leaders took further stock of how main street banking fits into a digitised financial landscape during the second day of the 24th World Congress of Savings and Retail Banks being held this week in Washington.

​The Day 2 programme featured French Hill, U.S. Congressman from Arkansas, who explored the much-debated need for proportionate regulation. Isidro Fainé​, who serves as European Savings and Retail Banking Group president as well as CaixaBank chairman and president of Confederación Española de Cajas de Ahorros (CECA), addressed the need further cutting edge work to address financial inclusion. Luis De Guindos, Minister of Economy and Competitiveness of Spain and Member of the Eurogroup, gave a much-anticipated morning keynote address to the more than 400 attendees at the two-day event.

The WSBI World Congress closing session featured a policy-focused address by WSBI Managing Director Chris De Noose, who framed the digital banking future as "The New Normal". He pointed to the clear need for policy should bolster, not impede, the push for leaner, more efficient banks.

"We call on stakeholders, policymakers and regulators to provide a regulatory and operational enabling environment that boosts innovation and technological solutions rather than hampering them," De Noose said. "They  must also provide a level playing field for the different market players and ensure that regulation is proportionate and based on the same-risk same rules principle."

A wrap-up address by WSBI President Heinrich Haasis urged savings and retail bankers to focus on the opportunities and challenges ahead of them. He also pointed to how digitalisation is changing the way member banks approach account holders, banking policy, and business models.

Echoing elements of the WSBI Washington Declaration released the day prior, Haasis said: "Digitialisation can breathe new life into savings and retail banking, making our operations still better, whilst reinforcing the local touch. Now we need to go back to work and start to sketch out just how far digitilisation 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."                              

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Note to editor:

WSBI – The Global Voice of Savings and Retail Banking

WSBI represents the interests of 6,000 savings and retail banks globally, with total assets of $14 trillion 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.

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