Technology

Tomorrow begins today

The countdown has begun: Sibos, undeniably the key event in the Financial Institutions (FI) calendar, is around the corner. Opening its doors from 10th to 13th October in Amsterdam, Sibos returns to an in-person conference format after having to move to a virtual set-up in the past two years.

“We’re a relationship bank for a digital world – it all comes back to relationships and to our people. Therefore, we’re delighted to see our customers at Sibos and to make new connections,” says Adam Hanke, NatWest’s Head of Banks for UK, Europe and Government Banking. “We’ve got so much to talk about this year, with the pace of change across every facet of our industry not letting up: from regulatory change to innovation and digitisation in payments and trade, the significance of the ESG agenda as well as the ever changing economic and geopolitical landscape. So, we’re excited to have over 25 colleagues making the trip to Amsterdam to engage in the debate, share views, connect with customers and partners, and contribute to the future of our industry. 

With this in mind, I’ve asked five of our senior leaders what they consider the most pressing issues customers will want to discuss at Sibos, and which developments they are most excited to share at the conference.”

What NatWest brings to Sibos

5th September: Launch of NatWest’s Sibos hub, offering thought leadership and information on NatWest’s sessions and ‘home team’ at Sibos  

10th October @ 9.00: NatWest Sibos stand opens. Centrally located between the conference stage and the ‘Meet The Experts’ stage, our stand (location: B15) houses 4 meetings rooms, a welcome bar, a coffee bar with on-site Barista, and a seating area with charging points

11th October @ 12.00: Sibos TV interview with NatWest’s Matt Tuck, Managing Director, Customer Propositions & Delivery

11th October @ 16.00 – 16.45: Panel discussion “Managing sanctions risks with global technology providers” with Ian Povey, NatWest’s CEO Payments Services and Technology

11th October @ 16.00 – 18.00: Drinks reception for customers at the NatWest stand (B15)

12th October @ 13.00 – 13.30: Exhibitor Topic Session with NatWest’s Simon Eacott, Head of Payments, and Dan Globerson, Head of Bank of APIs

13th October @ 9.00 – 9.45: “Meet The Experts” Session with NatWest’s Simon Eacott, Head of Payments; Dan Globerson, Head of Bank of APIs; and James Waud, Managing Director, Head of Banks and Transaction Services

13th October @ 13:00 – 15:00: “Big Issue Debate: Sustainable and Equitable Financial Future” with Solange Chamberlain, Chief Operating Officer, Commercial & Institutional, NatWest Group

13th October @ 14:00- 15:00: Panel discussion “Growth in global payments: And the winners are…” with Jessica Richards, NatWest’s Head of Market Development, Payments 

Simon Eacott, Head of Payments

"Payment innovations offer fertile ground for further landscape-changing solutions"

I’m sure I’m speaking for many of my colleagues travelling with me to Sibos that we couldn’t have a heavier suitcase with us, full of exciting topics.  Obviously, the payments landscape is changing rapidly, and it will be good to sit down face to face with customers and other Sibos visitors to share our approaches to implementing new payments infrastructure including CHAPS, TARGET2, SEPA and NPA to comply with standards such as ISO 20022.

ISO 20022, of course, represents a major milestone, creating a common language for payments data across the globe, which makes interoperability and the exchange of data easier. ISO 20022 will no doubt bring the industry together while also allowing payments – internationally and domestically – to include a lot more data than the current 18 characters. More data will enable even more innovation and provide greater safety and protection from fraudsters. So, there’s plenty to talk about, and I’m also keen to discuss how the payment innovations of the last couple years –ranging from APIs to Open Banking, Cloud and distributed ledger technology as well as QR codes and other tech solutions - and their potential to provide more data and insights can help all of our customers to thrive financially while being better protected.  

Equally, I’m excited to share with our customers and Sibos participants what we have achieved since establishing our centre of expertise for payments - and what we have in the pipeline to strengthen our position as the go-to payments partner in the UK.    

Dan Globerson, Head of Bank of APIs

"Now is the time for collaboration and co-opetition"

Partnerships have become a key success factor for the payments industry and will continue to play a crucial role to tap into the innovation potential of our sector. Collaborating in one market segment while competing in another (the so-called co-opetition) is becoming the norm for fintechs and banks, requiring all market participants to be nimble and agile.

At NatWest, we’re excited about this new, emerging landscape and want to play an active role. That’s certainly one of the key messages I would like to get across at Sibos. We’re competing with as well as partnering with fintechs to deliver better propositions to our customers and their customers. We have a fast-growing suite of APIs, and I hope to have many fruitful discussions with fintechs at the conference about how they could partner with us and become a part of our ‘Bank of APIs’.

Equally, I’m looking forward to hearing about and discussing Open Banking innovations at Sibos.  With more than 5 million people and businesses in the UK now using Open Banking-based services or platforms to move and manage their money, with half a million more being added every six months, we’re not only plugged into the latest developments but also want to help further improve Open Banking. Variable Recurring Payments (VRP), which allow consumers to approve recurring payments with a single, one-off consent that securely authorises third parties to initiate payments from their bank account on an ongoing basis, is one example where we’ve led the market: last year, we collaborated with leading fintechs to make the first Open Banking VRP payment.  What’s more, we’re opening up our APIs for direct consumption by our business and corporate banking customers, helping them and their customers succeed in an increasingly digital economy with services such as payments, fraud reduction, customer attributes, and more.

I’m also thrilled to be able to talk about our innovative Open Banking solution PayitTM*,which offers a new way to collect and send payments online and in person, removing the need for sharing and storing card details.

*Online banking required, eligibility criteria and fees apply

Mirka Skrzypczak, Head of Working Capital and Trade Products

"Gearing up to successfully navigate stormy markets"

Clearly, we all find ourselves in one of the most challenging market environments since the financial crisis in 2008. Dealing with the aftermath of a global pandemic, the highest inflation in over 30 years, and geopolitical issues, insulating businesses from volatility is an enormous task. I’m sure, it will be at the forefront of all our minds at Sibos, and I’m looking forward to constructive meetings about how we all can harness supply chain disruptors, tame foreign currency risks through automation and innovation, and kick off a much needed technology overhaul of our supply chain management.

And we’re ready to help our customers with these challenges: we’ve heavily invested in our trade infrastructure and have increased our capacity to even better support importers and exporters alike. Of course, I’m excited to share these developments - and what it means for our customers - at Sibos. 

James Waud, Managing Director, Head of Banks and Transaction Services

"Sharing experiences about our sustainability journeys"

I’m curious to hear from other financial institutions about their strategies to become sustainable businesses. We are all very conscious of the critical role that the financial services sector plays to help tackle climate change and societal issues, as well as supporting our customers’ transition pathways. Therefore, I hope to have many insightful conversations with other FI representatives about their ambitions and efforts.

Of course, I also would like to share our work:  NatWest has been an early adopter of a purpose-led business approach. Our purpose, to champion the potential of people, families and businesses, is at the heart of everything we do and drives us to offer financing support, expertise and clever tools for our customers to thrive.  Talking about financing support: we provided £21.5bn for Climate and Sustainable Financing in H1 2021, surpassing our 2020/2021 target of £20bn. We also announced a revised target of £100bn for 2025. So, this is something I would like to share with our customers and other guests at Sibos and discuss how we could support them.

Further, I’m keen to introduce CarbonPlace at Sibos. In July last year, we partnered with a selection of other banks to launch this new voluntary carbon market settlement platform, which offers transparent and secure carbon credit trading, removing the need for multiple intermediaries. Plus, I’d be delighted to talk about our new Carbon Planner, a tool designed to support businesses to become a more sustainable and climate conscious organisation, and help identify potential cost and carbon savings too.

Finally, I would also like to mention in my talks with customers our easily accessible knowledge hubs, such as our ESG hub and our Carbon hub, which are brimming with insights from our ESG specialists. 

NatWest spotlight “Supporting Financial Institutions on every step of their sustainability journey”

We’ve assisted numerous FIs with a wide range of ESG-related transactions, celebrating many sustainability ‘firsts’, and we’ve reached a leading position in structuring and arranging Green, Social and Sustainability Bonds across multiple currencies:

  • We’re the #1 bookrunner for social bonds issued by FIs
  • We’re the #1 bookrunner for sterling-denominated Green, Social and Sustainability (GSS) issuance by banks and insurance companies globally
  • We’re in the top five for European GSS-labelled issuance by FIs across all currencies

Source: Dealogic (as at H1 2021)

Stuart Foster, Managing Director, Financial Institutions

"Customers to enjoy One Bank experience"

As we are coming to Sibos under a newly formed Commercial & Institutional division, having recently brought together the businesses that serve our Commercial, Corporate and Institutional customers on either side of the ring fence, I’m excited to share with our customers how they will benefit from this new structure.

Simply speaking, our customers will enjoy a One Bank experience, as we’ve made collaboration between our multiple teams easier with this new division.  I’m convinced that our new structure will help us drive deeper relationships with our customers and will lead to better conversations around how we can create opportunities to accelerate our customers’ growth.

So, in my meetings at the conference I would like to outline how our FI team is now working even more closely with colleagues across Product, Payments and Network – and how this translates into even better customer support.   

See you in Amsterdam

Our NatWest team is looking forward to many fruitful discussions during the four-day conference. For now, please visit our dedicated Sibos site, featuring an overview of our key conference themes and an introduction to our Sibos team. Register for Sibos 2022 here.

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