Looking for balance is a permanent activity

In 2015 it will be seven years since the financial crisis erupted. Today we can look back at this period from the perspective of a reformed sector and again look forward to the future. One word is central here: balance.

The financial sector is working all out to be a stable and sustainable sector in the service of people, society and the economy. However, it is also important that the sector is perceived as such, and that is why we have to keep a finger on the pulse of citizens, politicians, social partners, etc.

We want to present ourselves as a partner that knows and feels what is going on in the heart of society. I once proverbially said that a good banker has a cool head and a warm heart. Banking is partly number crunching and cold analysis, but as bankers we must also endeavour to see the story behind the figures.

Attention to all stakeholders

Today, the financial sector is confronted with an increasingly articulate society whose expectations and requirements are more pronounced. As a sector, it is thus a permanent challenge not only to be there for the shareholders, but for all stakeholders: citizens, politicians, NGOs, etc. And of course to have a sufficient view and understanding of the purpose of regulations and the mission of supervisory authorities.

Attention to the digital revolution

The times in which we are living are characterised by one of the greatest transformations of the last decades. The demand for just a physical presence of the bank branch is shifting to an additional dimension of a 24/7 online service.

This digital revolution will substantially impact the sector’s product and service offering and bring about an irreversible change of course for society and the economy. The search for a balance between a physical and online interpretation of banking is as such a historical challenge.

As Febelfin, we try to act as a bridge builder between our members and the political world, broader society, etc. We endeavour to provide a place for the complaints and needs of each link in the story and reconcile them with one another. It goes without saying that our role as an intermediary relies on the necessary diplomacy and aims for a natural balance so that we can be a partner for everyone. Together, we are continuing to build the financial sector of tomorrow!

Michel Vermaerke,

Chief Executive Officer of Febelfin