Christian Clausen, Chief Executive Officer of Nordea and chairman of the European Banking Federation, was the keynote speaker at PA Consulting Group’s Executive Seminar on August 23, 2012. PA business strategy expert Frank Madsen introduced Christian Clausen by explaining how the financial sector should focus on ensuring the most talented co-workers in order to generate great results.
Discussing recovery in the European financial sector, Christian said: “Even though some banks and nations are still in bad shape, the sector is going in the right direction. We are seeing a reconstruction, the aim of which is to create stability and prevent a new recession.”
Recognising the role of Nordea in the reconstruction, as a leading European bank, he said: “It is crucial that banks, politicians and authorities agree on a plan for recovery and resolution in Europe. It looks to be going in the right direction despite difficult demands. For example, strict measurements need to be taken when a large bank gets in trouble. Credibility in the financial sector is imperative if we want to secure growth.”
He went on to say: “We need to create a uniform level to ensure equal competitive terms. Moreover, we need to acknowledge that unrealistic capital requirements for banks will inhibit the economy, while too little demand, on the other hand, makes us vulnerable. We need to create a beneficial circle for customers, investors and society. Some politicians believe that banks need to make less money but banks must still be able to make a sensible return on investment. Otherwise we cannot lend money and thereby support the economy.”
Ensuring the development of talented people
Nordea is rethinking its business models and processes in order to minimise the impact of new banking regulations. Branches are being consolidated and there is increasing focus on revenues: “We invest our money in the right products, including on new digital channels like mobile banking. We are also improving communication with our 11 million customers. So while we become more efficient, we are also creating more focused branches with skilled advisors who make a real difference for customers.”
Christian Clausen’s statement was supported by Frank Madsen, PA business strategy expert:
“Talented co-workers are the most vital prerequisite for growth, according to our research. Businesses have focused on cost management for years, but now is the time to focus on growth. Adaptable, talented co-workers are vital in order to generate great results. I encourage the financial sector to focus on its skilled employees and to introduce programmes and processes to ensure the development of these people.”
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