BRUSSELS, 19 April 2016 – WSBI, along with partners CaixaBank of Spain and Germany's Savings Banks Foundation for International Cooperation, created today WSBI Advisory Services, a new consultancy company aimed at improving retail banking worldwide. WSBI President and Sparkassenstiftung Board Chairman Heinrich Haasis will serve as president.
Announcing this new consultancy at a signing ceremony at WSBI offices, Haasis said: "Retail banks around the world face a host of challenges, especially digitalization, which is changing the way people connect with them. Expertise within WSBI Advisory Services can help retail banks make the needed leap to 21st-century banking, strengthening locally focused retail banking in both developed and developing countries."
CaixaBank Deputy Chairman Antonio Massanell, who is deputy chairman of the consultancy board, said: "The consultancy brings together three strong players with an already proven track record at both national and international levels. WSBI is the leading association for retail and savings banks, with members that serve more than 1.3 billion people worldwide. CaixaBank is a leader on the digital front, such as online and mobile banking."
The German Sparkassenstiftung, employing more than 200 people, has since 1992 successfully helped develop decentralised banking structures in close to 80 countries and is currently active in 37 countries, mainly in Latin America, Africa and Asia.
Specialists in financial inclusion work, the new company will also build on past work done by WSBI to improve access to finance. To date, WSBI financial sector development project work has reached more than 70 countries. Their most recent success was the WSBI Savings Programme: "Making small-scale savings work", supported with funding of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Specialists in financial inclusion work, the new company will build on past work done by WSBI to improve access to finance. To date, WSBI financial sector development project work has reached more than 70 countries. Their most recent success was the WSBI Savings Programme: "Making small-scale savings work", supported with funding of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Savings and retail banks, along with regulated microfinance institutions, central banks and regulatory authorities, and multilateral institutions, will benefit most from services offered by the consultancy.
WSBI Managing Director Chris De Noose, also a signatory, will serve as chairman of the newly formed consultancy's executive committee. He said: "Job one will be to tackle areas like digitisation and payments, institutional reform of state-owned banks including corporate governance and change management as well as housing and green finance."
The consultancy is scheduled to operate upon regulatory approval by Belgian authorities this spring.
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Notes to editors:
Board Chairman of Sparkassenstiftung, Mr Haasis holds a Diploma in Public Administration from Württemberg Management Service. From 1971 to 1981 he was the Mayor of Bisingen. He also served as a member of the State Parliament of Baden-Württemberg (1976-2001). From September 1991 to January 2001, he was Chairman of the former Württemberg Savings Banks Association (WSGV). Later, in January 2001, he was elected Chairman of the Board of Landesbank Baden-Württemberg (LBBW) and the Landesbausparkassen and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Sparkassen-Versicherung Holding AG Baden-Württemberg. From 2006 to 2012 he served as the President of the German Savings Bank Association (DSGV). He was elected as the President of ESBG from 2006–2009. In May 2012, he was appointed as President of WSBI and reappointed in 2015 for a three-year term.
Deputy Chairman - Caixabank. Antonio Massanell holds the position of Deputy Chairman and Member of the Board of CaixaBank. Besides, he is currently a Member of the following Boards of Directors: 1995 Telefónica, S.A.; 2008 Boursorama, S.A., representing "la Caixa"; 2009 Mediterranea Beach & Golf Community, S.A.; 2012 SAREB, Sociedad de Gestión de Activos procedentes de la Reestructuración Bancaria; 2014 Banco BPI (Banco Português de Investimento, S.A.). Additionally, he is: Member of the ERPB as a representative of the ESBG since April 2014; Chairman of Fundació Barcelona Digital Centre Tecnològic, since 2005; Vice-President of Barcelona Centre Financer Europeu (BCFE – European Finance Centre, Barcelona); Member of APD Zona Mediterrània (Management Progress Association), since 2005 and Member of the Plenary Meeting of the Chamber of Commerce of Barcelona, since 2010.
Chris De Noose
Managing Director of the WSBI World Savings and Retail Banking Institute and the European Savings and Retail Banking Group. He is a member of the European Banking Industry Committee (EBIC), and serves as a board member of the Hochschule der Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe, European Payments Council, Child and Youth Finance International. He also serves as member of the Banking Stakeholder Group of the European Banking Authority and Secretary General of the Mediterranean Confederation. He is a member of the Kuratorium of the Foundation for International Co-operation of the German Savings Banks.
CaixaBank is Spain's leading bank by market share. It operates in retail banking and insurance, while also holding investments in international banks and prominent services companies. The bank, presided over by Chairman Isidro Fainé and CEO Gonzalo Gortázar, serves close to 14 million customers and has a network of more than 5,200 branches. It is the leading operator in retail banking, with a market share of 28.3% among individuals. The essence of the group, and its distinguishing hallmark, is represented by its dedication to and engagement with society. CaixaBank's banking operations are grounded resolutely in the principles of quality, trust and social engagement. CaixaBank was named "Best Bank in Spain 2015" by Euromoney, while it was also honoured by Forrester Research as the world's best mobile banking services provider. The bank is also among the most sustainable in the world, according to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.Likewise, CaixaBank has been recognised as a leading innovator in financial services worldwide, with 4.8 million online customers and 2.8 million active mobile banking customers each month. ©
About Sparkassenstiftung –Savings Banks Foundation for International Cooperation (SBFIC)
The Sparkassenstiftung für internationale Kooperation (SBFIC) makes the German Sparkassen experience accessible in developing and transition countries. Since 1992, it supports financial institutions promoting a sustainable economic and social development at a local, regional or national level by offering banking services that are tailored to the needs of the target groups. Other core areas of activity include Financial Education, Microfinance and SME-lending. SBFIC is currently working in 37 countries in Latin America, Africa, Europe and Asia. Learn more at: www.sparkassenstiftung.de/en/home.html
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 $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.
>> Visit the website at www.wsbi-as.org