Caixabank Chief Pushes For Consistent Regulation


CaixaBank chairman Jose Ignacio Goirigolzarri hailed the benefits of digital technologies to drive innovation and improve customer experience, but argued consistent regulations for all entities are vital to ensuring a level playing field.

Goirigolzarri told a keynote the move to digital services had lowered the barriers to entry in the financial sector, resulting in the emergence of new players looking to disrupt the status quo.

“I’ve always said competition is good for the sector, is good for customers and also forces us to become a stronger and innovate.”

He explained regulators had a key role in encouraging this innovation by acting swiftly: “experience has shown us that regulatory arbitrage is a source of instability for the system as a whole”.

Shifting to privacy, Goirigolzarri believes organisations consuming and generating data must follow strict ethical principles for their customers.

He argued technology only becomes a competitive advantage when it is used to benefit customers, improving their experience and making their life easier.

Changing habits

Goirigolzarri added new technologies give companies a great opportunity to improve and streamline relations with customers. “However, not all citizens have the same capacity to adapt to digitalisation, or at least to do so at the same speed.”

He said the biggest challenge for a bank manager is the impact of changing customer habits, because they are not homogeneous. For example, 85 per cent of customers in their 30s use only online banking, while just 25 per cent of those over 70 years-old do.

“It’s becoming more complex to manage these differences, because these segments are not static, but change over time forcing us to adapt continually.”

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