Navigating the Perfect Storm

Richard Nolan

Operations Director

The Financial Services Forum

Multinational Spanish banking group BBVA has been at the forefront of FinTech for some time and is revolutionising how it services its 66 million customers throughout the world. Head of Strategy and M&A Javier Rodriguez Soler talks us through his own journey and vision for the future.
Joining a global bank in the summer of 2008 is a scenario some may have shied away from, but for Javier Rodriguez Soler it was an opportunity to tackle the ‘perfect storm’ of challenges facing the financial services sector.
‘There have been a lot of pressures on the profitability of banks in recent years caused by issues such as regulatory changes, low/negative interest rates and new players entering the industry,’ he says.
And the changes to the sector haven’t just come from internal sources. With customers having more access to their finances online, their needs, expectations and demands have undergone a significant shift too. Not to mention the sizeable task of having to rebuild trust in the industry as a whole.
Rodriguez Soler has been of the opinion for many years that the traditional banking model needs to change. ‘The future is about being able to deliver the best service to wherever the customer is. Increasingly, this is on a smartphone and involves a mix of platforms – online, in-branch and telephone.’
Disruption through technology has come at an important time and provides huge opportunities through areas such as robo-advice, blockchain, big data and AI.
‘Traditionally, financial advice was for High Net Worth (HNW) individuals who could afford it. Technology is changing that so more people in different income brackets can benefit from tailored advice,’ Rodriguez Soler says.
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