Private Banking Needs a New Mindset

Marc Arand
Group CEO
at Banque Havilland



Technological progress and evolving customer behavior are forcing banks to adapt quickly. To ensure the success of this transformation, a new leadership approach is essential, argues Marc Arand in his article for finews.

I began my career in the financial industry 30 years ago. Back then, bank executives were known for spending hours each morning reading newspapers and studying statistics, steering their institutions with a policy of steady, deliberate management. This isn’t a criticism but a reflection of the times. The constant need to adapt to change wasn’t as pressing as it is today.

Now, the European banking industry is undergoing unprecedented change, driven by technological innovation, regulatory shifts, economic uncertainty, and rapidly evolving customer behavior. Digitalization stands out as one of the biggest challenges in all that. The rise of online and mobile banking, along with the emergence of fintechs and digital banks, compels traditional banks to rethink their strategies.


“ We have to offer customers what they expect – ideally even more.”



What does this mean for managers?

In my opinion, we need a new leadership approach. The essential characteristics are resilience, commitment, a strong service mindset, and agility. This would strengthen the position of banks while making sure they remain fit for the future.

But this can only succeed if managers use and work with all these qualities. The ability to overcome difficulties quickly and efficiently is an integral part of being resilient, and something institutions must have plenty of.

Another key aspect of private banking would be organizational agility. The ability to anticipate and respond to internal and external challenges while always keeping customer needs in mind. We have to offer customers what they expect – ideally even more.

This requires us to empower our teams to make decisions on their own. For them to be able and willing to take responsibility, we need to provide employees with the necessary resources and support and create an environment that focuses on collaboration and innovation for the benefit of customers.

The ability to manage and adapt to uncertainty is crucial, making resilience and agility key traits of effective leadership. Resilient and agile managers can recover from setbacks, adapt to new circumstances, and successfully lead their teams through turbulent times.

At the same time, resilient and agile managers show empathy, remain calm and composed in the face of adversity, and ensure trust and stability in the company. Most importantly, resilient and agile managers value effective communication, keeping their teams informed and engaged, and fostering a sense of unity and purpose, even in times of uncertainty.

By applying these values, we can shape a culture that is positive, sustainable, and characterized by success even in times of change.


(source: Finews)