Banks need to develop new core competencies to survive - BBVA COO

Banks need to develop new core competencies to survive - BBVA COO

Banks need to develop core competencies in design, Big Data, digital sales, processes and software, and cultural change if they are to succeed in the future, says BBVA chief operating officer Carlos Torres Vila.

Speaking at the Innovate, Connect and Transform (ICT) in Lisbon, Torres Vila says banks need to undertake a profound change in outlook as technological innovation transforms customer expectations and behaviours.

“The new context offers great opportunities if we are able to make the most of data, design, technology and processes to develop better products and services for our customers," he told the audience. "There is a huge amount of value to be captured.”

“For this reason,” he added, “we are not only investing in IT platforms and infrastructures, but we are also changing the bank internally. We have organised the company around a new set of core competencies that will be essential to succeed in the future: design, Big Data, digital sales, processes and software, and cultural change.”

It's a theme which has recently been addressed by ANZ CFO Shayne Elliott following a trip to Silcion Valley, which he described as both "exciting and terrifying".

"At ANZ, building a digital bank isn't the real challenge we face," he says. "Building agile people and a supporting culture which can recognise new trends and adapt to the ever changing needs of our customers is."

Torres Vila stressed that to BBVA digital is not a destination, but a journey. “It is not an isolated project or a function, or even a budget. It is about managing a sweeping change across the organisation, in the way the company carries out its everyday activity.”

The bank is undertaking an ambitious transformation strategy, creating a new digital business area which focusses on innovation contests around the world, opening up its platform to new players such as Dwolla, investing in startups through its fintech venture fund and engaging in strategic M&A to extend its capabilities online via Simple, through Big Data via Madiva and in customer experience with Spring Studios.

“We are convinced that the key is to work very closely with the startup community to transform the financial services industry," said Torres Vila. “BBVA's commitment to the startup ecosystem will continue to grow as an essential pillar of the bank's strategy."

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