BR Interview | Andreea Voinea (BCR) : The future belongs to those who will be able to adapt to different contexts

Mihai Cristea 09/09/2020 | 09:15

What will jobs in banking look like in the future? Will they be totally driven by the rapid technological advance we’re currently experiencing? Andreea Voinea, executive director in the BCR HR division, sat down with Business Review and explained the new structure of banking jobs and the main traits of future leaders in this industry.

By Anda Sebesi

 

Find out more about the #FUTUREOFWORK on September 29, at the upcoming Working Romania | Autumn 2020, BR’s landmark HR conference, which for the first time will be hosted both on-site, at Courtyard by Marriott Bucharest Floreasca, and online in our dedicated elite HR communities on Facebook and LinkedIn.

 

What will future banking jobs look like?

I think that the banking sector is at an important tipping point and it is migrating towards a new era, making the shift from the traditional model to a more digitalized one. However, my opinion is that banking will remain a business made by people for the people, while being supported and improved by the use of data and technology. Therefore, I think that future bankers will not be much different from what they are now. But in the context of the migration from the traditional organisational models to agile ones, the ways in which people from different areas of the bank (regardless where they are located in the business flows, whether it’s product management, IT, risk, operations, legal or compliance) will manage to collaborate and co-create effective solutions adjusted to the current needs of our clients will be essential.

 

How will jobs in this industry be structured?

The job structure in the banking industry will change and we will have more people focusing on understanding the needs of clients and advising them. Meanwhile, traditional customer service channels will be moved to other areas like contact centres or online. Considering all the things mentioned above, we’re certainly seeing an increased number of IT specialists in banking compared with what we had in the past. In the last two or three years, this has been a trend in the banking system. At BCR, we have a team of 500 IT specialists out of a total of 6,800 employees. We are in line with trends in the local banking sector as we’ve continued to hire since the beginning of 2020 in order to grow this team.

 

What role will technology play in this change, in both retail and corporate banking?

In order to keep up with international trends in the banking industry and meet the expectations of its clients, the Central and Eastern European banking system is becoming increasingly advanced when it comes to technology. Hence, we’re introducing a lot of digitalization in our processes and this generates a re-evaluation of BCR’s culture and organisational structures. Where processes are standardised, technology will continue to help us. But in both the retail and the corporate segments, trustworthiness, promptitude, and the professionalism of bankers will continue to be the main features making the difference on the market.

 

How accelerated is the digitalization process in the Romanian banking industry right now?

The future belongs to those who will be able to adapt to different contexts. In this case, the it belongs to digitalized lenders who come up with rapid solutions and anticipate the needs of their consumers. The competition is quite fierce in this field in Romania and this comes on top of a “struggle” to find talented candidates in this sector. Today, we can say that the situation generated by the coronavirus crisis helped us because it accelerated the digitalization process. Both we as a bank as well as our clients were somehow forced by the circumstances to move towards remote banking. For example, BCR has 137,000 fully digital George accounts and 24,000 loans have been offered online so far.

 

What will future banking leaders be like, considering that the digitalization process is getting stronger?

The ability to adapt to change has always been a must for a leader, and now I think it is more important than ever. Future leaders are among us. Some of them are already high performers in their roles, others are training for this. I strongly believe in balance and to me it seems natural for a leader to keep the usual attributes of a good manager but also to adopt the agile approach – a more human one – which we all need during these times. Leaders who adapt quickly and know how to coordinate their teams towards new ways of working will stand out from the crowd.

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