I am going to do something politically incorrect: I am going to speak highly of banks.
2008 is very far and very close at the same time. We are all remembering these days. Now that we begin to overcome the health problem, everyone's main concern 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 sale of derivatives or preferred, mortgages in yen or with land. It was due to the excess of goodness of having given credits to people who should not have bought or due to the excess of badness of wanting to collect them.
Like almost all blame assignments, they hide many mistakes. But the fact is that socially the banks and their workers were 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 banks are part of the solution" He says Ana Botín, President of Banco Santander. "It is time for banks to show that we also have souls", it states Carlos Torres, President of the BBVA. And Goirigolzarri, President Bankia"Unlike 2008, banks are not now the problem of the crisis, but part of the solution" But, although the pretty words are usually carried by the wind, this is not the case in these 2 months; words are turning into deeds.
How have the banks helped to curb the COVID-19 crisis?
During confinement, Spanish banks have launched 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 clearer aids than those given without expecting anything in return. And the banks have done much more than what the state required. They have gone further with the mortgage moratoriums. 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 payment for their ERTE.
"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 banks of processing problems that are the responsibility of the State. So his moment of truth comes now.
So far they have behaved like good banks, Now is the time to be much more than a bank, of being the key actors in the economic recovery. Taking advantage of their knowledge, taking advantage of their technology and taking advantage of their capillarity in companies and citizens.
And we all know that for the economy to work, companies must work. They are the ones that give jobs, the ones that create consumption and competitiveness. Given the unprecedented situation, it is not enough just to provide liquidity. Businesses need new forms of aid in order to survive and become 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 get products to them.
- Provide information: to help them make the best job 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 clients pay, tools to sell online and the keys to export.
- Generate business: to start the collaborative economy and unite the needs of its customers by making them sell and buy from each other.
Many of those needs today are not covered. And when they are covered, they are covered at a much higher cost than a bank - with its scale - can afford. 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. That they are a real help, that they improve their situation.
It is time to go from being responsible for the problem to being part of the solution. In these two months, the banks have spoken with facts, they have demonstrated to want to do it. 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 banking.