Johan Thijs, KBC Group CEO explains why KBC is starting this review: “ Our customers deserve all our energy and attention. That is the only way we can earn their trust and loyalty. The fulfillment of our customers’ financial needs is right at the top of our priority list and since 2012 we have fundamentally changed our company, our organizational structure, our distribution network and our way of working in line with the changing behaviour of our customers while at the same time showing respect for our employees, shareholders and other stakeholders. We also invested in new, innovative products and services. Our customers recognized those efforts, noticed that things had changed and we won several awards for innovation and customer satisfaction.
Today our customers are demanding a different way of doing their banking and insurance business. Consumers in general want no hassle, no friction and increasingly faster decisions. But there is no such thing as a uniform customer. Some customers require full digital service, while others still prefer to be served through the traditional non-digital channels, with more human or face-to-face contact and the choice digital versus non-digital may vary according to the product they buy. How will that choice of service evolve over time? That is very hard to predict. We continue to closely monitor that evolution in order to find the right balance and decide how much to invest in technology and digital services and how much in non-digital, human-led service.
We assume our responsibility and are determined to make the changes necessary to ensure that we are ready, that we are ahead of our customers' demands and that we can continue to offer them an unparalleled customer experience. But that is why we need to further adapt our internal organisation, simplify our governance, make our organisation as agile as possible, with fewer layers of decision making, with faster decision-making processes and with more empowerment within the existing risk framework. This is how we safeguard the future of KBC as a financial institution and as an employer.
While the starting point and final goal of the exercise is to further improve internal operational efficiency, this optimization exercise will also bring changes for some employees. Given KBC’s customer centric focus, it is logical that customer facing processes, customer facing contacts are likely to require more FTEs.”