How ING can help build back better

09 July 2020 ... min read

It’s not often that the world has an opportunity to collectively hit the reset button. Both the community and the economy have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. As we start work to rebuild, we have an opportunity to make changes and build back an even better world. ING believes that businesses and governments must now collectively seize this moment and together define new ways of doing business to align economic growth with positive environmental and social impact.

Here, our Management Board Banking members offer their perspective on the role ING can play in building back better (PDF, 0.1 MB).

Roel Louwhoff, Steven van Rijswijk, Tanate Phutrakul, Pinar Abay, Isabel Fernandez, Aris Bogdaneris (from left to right).

Roel Louwhoff, Steven van Rijswijk, Tanate Phutrakul, Pinar Abay, Isabel Fernandez, Aris Bogdaneris (from left to right).

Banking in changing times – Tanate Phutrakul, chief financial officer

“The coronavirus crisis reinforces the need for people and organisations to be agile and adapt to change. With growing economic uncertainty brought on by the pandemic, banks such as ING have an increasingly important role in ensuring sustainable progress while keeping the financial system safe, secure and compliant. Our role as gatekeeper to the financial system has never been more important. Now more than ever, we need to adapt how we measure risk and assess the models we use to reflect the changing times. With more and more interactions and transactions going digital, we have a responsibility to keep online banking safe and secure. In addition, we must firmly embed climate risk in our end-to-end risk processes. Financial performance and sustainability go hand-in-hand, and we’re seeing this recognised by rating agencies and shareholders. Not to mention our clients, given the numerous statements of support for a social and green recovery that they have co-signed.”

Going digital – Aris Bogdaneris, head of Challengers & Growth Markets

“The corona crisis actually confirms the strategic direction for our retail bank. It’s reinforced that banking needs to be and will become even more digital. We’ve seen that the pandemic has accelerated market trends like the shift to mobile and online. More people are doing their banking digitally and discovering that it’s easy and efficient to do it that way. This increases the urgency around making our processes digital from start to finish, which then also makes it more important to have good data quality and to increase our data ingestion (which essentially means gathering data in and making it accessible to be used). That’s why we’re working so hard to accelerate the pace of digitalisation within ING, particularly on local products, on everything from onboarding customers to the underlying processes for mobile banking.”

Immediate relief and financial health – Pinar Abay, head of Market Leaders

“The pandemic has had a deep impact on people’s jobs and finances. People are worrying about paying back mortgages, loans and credit cards. We feel the responsibility to support customers in navigating through these financial challenges. So we’re offering things like payment deferrals and advice while implementing national schemes and supporting companies to alleviate those concerns. We’ve set up dedicated pages on how to bank during the crisis and have done client communications in several countries on the impact of the crisis on investments. The crisis has made it even more important to empower customers to manage their banking so they remain in charge of their finances. We’re continuously working on a response to increase resilience in all aspects of financial health: income, spending, savings, borrowing and planning. This is core to ING’s purpose and key to sustainable economic recovery.”

Aligning recovery and sustainable growth – Isabel Fernandez, head of Wholesale Banking

“Clean energy and smart infrastructure are at the heart of a climate-neutral, post-corona economy. As a bank, we have a big role to play in speeding up sustainable growth: we’ve set apart funding for Covid-19 facilities for clients who need our help the most and we’re actively helping clients transition to more sustainable business models. Our Terra approach, for example, looks at the technology shift that’s needed across sectors to slow global warming and then measures this against the actual technology clients are using or plan on using in the future.

“Also, while refurbishing buildings will improve energy efficiency and create new jobs, we have to look at generating direct savings on energy bills, which is what homeowners need now more than ever. Instead of focusing on energy labels only, we need to look at household appliances and people’s behaviour as catalysts for change. We have to change the way we heat because in the end, it’s energy use that causes carbon emissions.”

Data & internet – Roel Louwhoff, chief operations officer

“With so many countries in lockdown over the past months, ING became a virtual bank more than ever before – for customers, clients and employees. And with the continuing drive for digitalisation, this is only going to increase. This makes data and the internet the infrastructure for any sustainable growth plan. If we want to come out of the crisis stronger, we need to be masters of data. Its quality needs to be high, it needs to be accessible, and there need to be consistent standards and technology for exchanging data across the bank. Data can make us a smarter bank and bring tremendous opportunities to make banking safer, more personal and easier for our customers.

“It’s also absolutely vital to guarantee continuity and capacity of our operations and systems support. Looking outward, working from home is expected to become more prevalent post-corona now that it has proven to be so effective. That makes things like broadband coverage key to a sustainable recovery.”

Reflect, rethink and reset – Steven van Rijswijk, chief executive officer

“It felt for most of us as though the world changed from one day to the next. At ING, our focus has been on protecting our employees’ health and wellbeing and supporting our customers and communities through the crisis. At the same time, the challenges society was facing before Covid-19 never disappeared. Climate change. Financial distress. Plus, digitalisation is progressing faster than ever.

“This is a unique opportunity to define new ways of doing business and developing the economy. We can maintain many of the recent improvements in cleaner air, returning nature and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, while simultaneously creating jobs and supporting people’s livelihoods. We believe that the relief efforts focused on today have to coincide with recovery efforts that are focused on tomorrow.”

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