Last year also saw the consolidation of Bankinter's new operating model, both in Spain and Portugal, in order to internalise all critical tasks and outsource only tasks with the least value. To this end, centres had to be created to offer specialist support to the different businesses or segments; however, in exchange, it was possible to clearly contain costs and receive very high quality scores, which were particularly relevant in the case of the team supporting the Corporate Area in Madrid.
Operations maintained very close relations with Private Banking and the Agent Network in 2018, to whom they provided support for their most important projects in addition to taking mechanical tasks away from offices to allow them more time to perform commercial duties, and where a large part of the bank's development lies. In this regard, particular mention must be made of the efforts made in Portugal, where tasks for which the Network was previously responsible, were centralised and externalised, clearly hindering the bank's opportunities for growth.
In 2019, the Operations Area is expected to place a greater emphasis on technology, developing the main applications with which Bankinter works, and increase target automation, an area in which work is already under way.
This progress is Bankinter's response to the new reality, in which technology represents an increasingly important part of the future business. Digitalisation, automation, data analysis, etc. are concepts that form part of business models. Furthermore, in Spain, new channels (Internet, mobile, social networks, etc.) are now used by most customers, meaning that companies must be prepared to undertake omnichannel transactions, i.e., a transaction may start in one channel, continue in another and finish in a third.
However, this would not be possible without considering cyber security, which is acquiring an extraordinary importance. In 2018, security measures were strengthened to ensure customers enjoy a secure experience.
Furthermore, over the course of the year, the technological platform was generally enhanced in terms of availability, response times, etc. As a result, it was possible to absorb a 35% increase in transactional activities and a 10% increase in other services offered by Technology. Furthermore, there was a 27% increase in production in development and the number of incidents involving the bank's app was reduced.
Furthermore, in 2018, progress was made with different aspects of the Transformation Plan, in particular in terms of the internationalisation process (technological transformation in Luxembourg and Portugal).
Looking to 2019, the objectives are to guarantee a quality technical response in all areas of the institution, in order for customers to notice a substantial improvement in the operations and services provided by the bank, continue making progress with the Transformation Plan and assume control of the banking business systems of EVO Banco in Spain and its Irish consumer finance subsidiary, which is due to be formally integrated in the first quarter of the year.
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