Marie-Christine Radio (ING): Strengthening relationships

Marie-Christine Radio, Head of Client Services Wholesale Banking and Business Clients Delivery, says even though these times are unprecedented, ING managed to activate the necessary tools and processes to support clients and manage “business as usual”, while treating the wellbeing of the ING staff and customers as a priority. Interview.

 

How did you adapt your organization to face this exceptional situation?

 

Our top priority is the health, safety and wellbeing of our colleagues and customers. We are lucky at ING to still be working at full capacity, thanks to the agility and speed of our tech teams. The agile model we adopted for delivery allows us to be nimble when facing new situations. Employees have now access to all their work tools from home in a highly secure mode. We are very proud of that. After deploying remote access, globally about 90% of our employees are working from home to keep our business running and serve our clients. Some people still work at ING Lux House to ensure critical tasks that cannot be performed remotely. We took drastic measures to ensure their safety. It is our Orange Culture that allows us to reorganise ourselves and to work quickly and efficiently. Not all companies were able to keep all their staff on board. The feedback from our staff is positive. In the current climate, social ties are harder to maintain. We have therefore put in place surveys to keep track of our staff’s wellbeing and we have shared tools to keep in touch easily such as weekly snapshot newsletter, sharing news of teams and individuals. It is a nice way to remain in touch. Global and local news are now focusing on the exit strategies of countries under lockdown. We closely follow the guidance of the government, the CSSF, the ABBL and the ASTF, as well as the ING Group, and we will set up appropriate plans.

“In terms of processing time and support, our clients do not see any difference between the “normal” situation and the current one.”

 

I guess, in a crisis period, the level of service, digitization and flexibility of a banking partner is key. Could you give us examples of ING’s agility to propose solutions?

 

Digitization is key, particularly in these times. We offer our clients a large range of solutions depending on their profiles and needs. Our corporate clients may hold many accounts in different countries. To manage this, the treasurer wants tools to oversee all financial transactions. We offer our International Digital Banking Platform, ING Inside Business, a single point of access to get real time insights and to manage financial transactions anytime, anywhere. This solution grants access to all wholesale banking services and products in all the jurisdictions where ING is present. We also offer local digital solutions, like My ING Pro, allowing our clients to manage their accounts and payments easily. Thanks to our digital approach that was launched several years ago, our digitization rate is around 98%, a very high score. The continuous promotion of our e-banking solutions is part of our strategy.  Our approach is to facilitate the life of our clients by offering efficient digital solutions. This is especially crucial in the current environment. Furthermore, it was very important to us to ensure business continuity and find pragmatic solutions in response to the current context of remote working during Covid-19, – for instance, we have adapted some of our procedures temporarily to accepte-signed documentation from our clients, in accordance with our risk policies. Clients are always at the heart of our initiatives and our objective is to support them and remain a strong business partner during this period.

 

 

I can imagine that such a crisis crystallizes the idea of quality service to customers, despite digitalization. The relationship remains an important factor of an excellent relationship.

 

Digitization allows us to manage the transactional part of our activities. It is key to have smooth digitized processes to give customers a differentiating experience, but the human aspect remains a very important component of the relationship. During this time of crisis, we still have close contact with our clients. The only difference is that we had to switch from physical to digital contact - by phone or video conference. We received very positive feedback from our clients, and it is the best reward we could hope for. In terms of processing time and support, our clients do not see any difference between the “normal” situation and the current one.