I'm going to do something politically incorrect: I'm going to speak well of the banks.
2008 is very far and very close at the same time. We are all remembering it these days. Now that we begin to overcome the health problem, the main concern of all is the economy.
Y in 2008 there was a public feeling: the crisis was the fault of the banks. They were Americans or from here. Outside for the sale of derivatives or preferentials, mortgages in yen or with land. Was it due to the excess of goodness of having given credits to people who should not have bought or due to the excess of evil of wanting to collect them.
Like almost all blame assignments, they hide many errors. But the fact is that socially the bank and its workers emerged as losers from the crisis. So much so that, from one day to the next, it ceased to be cool work in banking. It is so politically incorrect to speak well of them, that the CEOs of the main banks have conspired to turn it around and bet on the reinvention of banking.
"Today the banks are part of the solution" He says Ana Botín, President of Banco Santander. "It is time for the banks to show that we also have a soul"Says Carlos Torres, President of the BBVA. And Goirigolzarri, President Bankia"Unlike 2008, banks are now not the problem of the crisis, but part of the solution”. But, although beautiful words are usually carried by the wind, it is not being the case in these 2 months; words are turning into deeds.
How have banks helped stop the COVID-19 crisis?
During confinement, Spanish banks have jumped in to help. Socially first: buying respirators, donating hospital beds. Then, as employers: they haven't even done an ERTE. As an essential service, some like Abanca have kept up to 80% of their offices open. And finally, really facilitating the economy of the people.
Few help clearer than those that are given without expecting anything in return. And the banks have done much more than the state required of them. They have gone further with the moratoriums on mortgages. They have facilitated and advance payment of pensions and unemployment benefits. And, even, they have solved the enormous problem generated by the almost one million people who have not received their ERTE payment.
"Now is the time to be much more than a bank, to be the key players in the economic recovery"
But it is almost never enough. In fact, there are complaints about queues at the offices. Even many of the companies that request ICO lines accuse the banks of problems in the processing that are the responsibility of the State. So your moment of truth comes now.
So far they have behaved like good banks, now is the time to be much more than a bank, to be the key players in the economic recovery. Taking advantage of its knowledge, taking advantage of its technology and taking advantage of its capillarity in companies and citizens.
And we all know that for the economy to work, businesses must work. They are those that provide employment, those that create consumption and competitiveness. Given the unprecedented situation, it is not enough just to provide liquidity. Businesses need new forms of help in order to survive and come back stronger.
B2B2C Customer Experience, key in the reinvention of banking
It is time to start applying the customer experience to B2B, and convert it to B2B2C. To listen to the needs and understand the new habits of our clients, to reimagine their service proposal, more accurate and of greater value. There has always been talk of creating payment services, it is time to do it.
- Sectorize: to understand what each sector needs and produce products to them.
- Provide information: to help them make the best employment decisions, to take advantage of government measures, to know how to save costs.
- Give digital tools: so that they facilitate their financial life, that they process operations.
- Sell more: to teach them to sell more by better understanding the purchase tickets, who they are and how their customers pay, tools to sell online and the keys to export.
- Generate business: to launch the sharing economy and unite the needs of its customers by making them sell and buy from each other.
Many of those needs are not covered today. And when they are covered, they are covered at a cost much higher than what a bank - with its scale - can give. Businesses will be happy to pay less for something better.
In short, it is time to be much more than a bank. To be closer to companies than ever, to understand them, get involved and offer services that facilitate economic recovery. May they be a real help, to improve your situation.
It is time to move from being responsible for the problem to being part of the solution. In these two months, the banks have spoken with facts, they have shown they want to. The time has come for the reinvention of banking. We will all win: companies, citizens and banks. Spain will win.
It will once again be the dream of every mother that her son / daughter work in a bank.