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Enabling 21st century banking

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Closing Remarks


​by


Mr. Chris De Noose

Managing Director, ESBG


ESBG Retail Banking Conference


16 March 2016

Brussels, Belgium


"Enabling 21st Century Banking" 


​Ladies and Gentlemen:

What a fine conference​ we have convened today.

The morning started with Mr Fainé calling on all of us to move forward together: to innovate, get closer to customer. The challenges are present and we have to meet them. Policymakers need to understand out model and enable us to be the 21st centrury banks we aspire to be.: connected, closer to customer, 24/7.

 

Panel 1: Setting the scene: financial innovation and how retail banks are affected

Are we facing a Kodak moment or are we going the direction of UBER? UBER-IZATION or KODAK-IZATION?

Jan Skoyles helped us see the UBER-type path – Bitcoin, blockchain – which is changing the rules. Energy consumption aside – banks are seeing its potential. There is great promise in the digital wave for customers and how we engage them. The digital wave is a fact of life as Mr. de Matos said. Is there tension with the physical banking network? Perhaps. But change is here. Policy should enable that.

 

Panel 2: Proportionality for local banks

There is big appetite for a tier based approach according to our audience poll. The cost of regulation is hampering innovation by a same three-fifths margin. Getting the balance right is a challenge. Madame Berès says policy should keep in mind the banking landscape. Proportionality can address this. As Mr. Enria said, the principle is being inserted in reporting rules for example, and in a number of other areas. It's time for a "stop and check". Fintech should be regulated, he said.

It seems Europe needs to be taken into equal account as the US within Basel and other bodies. The future of the EU banking regulation is in the balance.

Mr. Heller highlighted the significance of bringing in extra people to deal with stress tests in 2013, and that the stress testing process needs to be automated.

Dr. Schackmann-Fallis pleaded for regulation to take into account small banks and proportionality at the beginning of the regulatory process, not just towards the end.

Madame Berès warned not to use the Principle of Proportionality as an excuse. To be clear, its intent is to ensure all players compete on a level playing field.

 

Panel 3: How regulation needs to catch up with digitisation

Regulation has to keep pace with the digital age. The audience poll shows there is a clear need. Silicon Valley and the tech hubs in Europe are moving ahead. Moving ahead on Digital Market Strategy and the Retail Financial Services initiative is crucial.

Clair Bury made it clear that, more than ever, cooperation needs to blossom between industry and regulators – and in a progressive way.

Antonio Massanell restated the need to change. Change in order to survive. Fintechs are indeed a stimulus for banks. They also appear to be forcing governments to think carefully about regulation and rules, keeping the citizen in mind.

John Broxis has sympathy for us. Thanks John. He made an important point that collaboration with Finntechs is a positive route to take, rather than putting up a wall or doing it all in-house.

And finally, Monsieur Alain Minc framed us as a utility. Off-bank entities are a different creature indeed.

Utility or not, we are indeed proud of being banks and have a special place in society. Challenges we face are numerous, but there are plenty of clever paths to help us thrive in the 21st century.

Thank you for joining us today. Do take a look at our ESBG Positions document in your packets and check out our website for more information about today's event.

 

 

Proportionality; SME finance; Innovation; Digitalisation; European Institutions; European Supervisory Authorities (EBA-ESMA); Retail payments