Italy's UniCredit is to create a new digital division as part of a wide-ranging overhaul of the business under new CEO Andrea Orcel.
The revamp removes a whole seam of middle management roles and entails the creation of a new 15-member Group Executive Committee (GEC), down from the current 27 exective roles. The bank also plans to cut to 15-20 at most 44 existing internal committees.
Introducing the programme to staff, Orcel says: "I have heard your concerns about the complexity of our business, the desire for more collaboration between colleagues, and the need for greater empowerment. I have felt your frustration about some of the decisions that have been made; confusion about where ultimate responsibility lies; and the resulting lack of accountability."
On the technology front, a newly created Digital division will be headed by Jingle Pang, who is joining UniCredit from Ping An as group digital and information officer. The new unit will report directly to the executive committee.
"By elevating technology, digitalisation and data to the GEC, we are sending a clear message as to the critical importance of this area for the future of our business," says Orcel. "No longer an add on, this division will drive and input into every decision that we take. It will be fully embedded into each and every strategic deliverable as a way to better optimise our execution and, in doing so, enhance the client experience."
The bank last year announced plans to plans to chop 5200 full-time roles over the next four years and recruit 2600 new staff to digitally upskill the workforce. The programme also included the closure of 450 branches as customers increasingly turned to digital access.
"We will no longer be a bank defined by what we used to do," says Orcel. "Our focus now is on creating a bank that harnesses the power of digitalisation to disrupt not only our own processes, but also the expectations of the industry and its customers.