Banco Sabadell: Fintech and platforms in transition

The CIO of Banco Sabadell, the fourth largest bank in Spain, explains how his company is building a digital platform to fight economic, regulatory, and technology threats.

Fintech and banking: Platforms in transition

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Banking faces an extraordinary situation today because several factors have disrupted their core business:

  1. Low interest rates mean that customer deposits can actually cost banks money
  2. Higher customer expectations force banks to invest in mobile and other services to remain competitive
  3. Fintech startups have disaggregated traditional banking services (and customer segments) into components and apps, forcing banks to reexamine core business models and customer relationships

In the short video embedded above, I speak with Ruediger Schmidt, Chief Information Officer of Banco Sabadell, fourth largest bank in Spain, to learn about their response to these issues. The discussion was part of the CXOTALK series of conversations with disruptive innovators.

We have to transform our clients from balance sheet consumers to platform users. Our ambition is to do it a bit like Amazon.

— Ruediger Schmidt, CIO

Banco Sabadell was founded in 1881. Acquisitions have made technical integration a critical competency of Banco Sabadell and have played a strategic role in the bank's growth.

To manage the changing environment, Banco Sabadell has built a digital platform that enables the firm to offer new services, meet customer expectations, and comply with regulations.

Importantly, the platform offers open APIs, to enable third-parties to use the platform, increasing the scope of services the bank offers to customers. It's a radical departure from the closed mindset of traditional financial services.

This approach signals a strategic shift from making money based on the bank's balance sheet to providing services that come from technical assets. In other words, the platform is now the engine for growth, differentiation, and customer satisfaction.

You can read a transcript of our entire conversation and watch the full 45-minute video. It offers a wealth of information and a glimpse inside the digital transformation of a major bank.

To see the list of upcoming CXOTALK episodes, click here. Thank you to my colleague, Lisbeth Shaw, for assistance with this post.