Digital hurdles



The coronavirus crisis has further fueled the digital transformation in many different sectors, not least of all in financial institutions, who are the focus of this special. Most financial firms have made great leaps forward in recent years when it comes to digitalisation, even though they still have many hurdles to overcome.

Banks and insurance companies are seen as important gatekeepers in the fight against money laundering and financing terrorism, and are faced with ever-more detailed screening of their clients. At the same time, they are dealing with a legacy of obsolete, cumbersome IT systems while low interest rates and shrinking margins are having a knock-on effect on earnings. Digitalisation offers financial institutions major opportunities - requiring vision, courage and creative leadership. In this special you can read about how they are dealing with this shift. Leading figures from ING, ABN AMRO, Rabobank, Aegon, ARAG and DeGiro talk candidly about how the digital transformation is impacting on their own companies.

‘Digitalisation offers financial institutions major opportunities’

You can also read macro-economist and professor Arnoud Boot’s warning about the threat posed to traditional banks by bigtechs. In addition, my colleagues Laurent Claassen and Dirk de Hen take a look at how banks can best organise their digital innovation processes and record client data. Of course, technology can never replace humans entirely. A human being can better sense what a client needs than a chatbot or an algorithm. I would refer everyone to the slogan adopted by insurance company ARAG: ‘digital if possible, personal if necessary’. I hope that we are able to inspire you and your colleagues to continue along the road to digital transformation. If the articles give rise to any comments, questions or suggestions, or if you would like help with your own company’s digitalisation process, do please get in touch with me, via, or one of my colleagues featured in this magazine.

Geertje Strampel

Lead partner Financial Services at BDO

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