Sébastien Danloy (RBC I&TS): Local player of a global group’s digitisation
RBC I&TS enjoys both the strength of a global group of 80,000 people and the freedom to develop innovative solutions from its base in Luxembourg. A rare positioning that puts it at the cutting-edge of digital transformation. An interview with Sébastien Danloy, CEO.
How is your Group developing in terms of digital transformation?
Our ABC of new technologies and innovation sums up our main areas of development: Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Cybersecurity, Data, plus “e” for Ecosystem. The aim of our strategy is to orchestrate ecosystems via innovative solutions, competing with the main digital players such as Google or Amazon, who are gradually changing their business model to match us in retail banking activities. The key to success lies in data access, and banks must create value with their own data. Data scientists are therefore becoming highly sought after in the IT and banking sector. We are also forming partnerships in our development centres in Canada and the United States, particularly with companies in Silicon Valley. Finally, we are focusing on internal training, as 25% of our employees have changed position in recent years. In two or three years, our bank will look radically different to what it does today. We will offer similar services, but they will be delivered differently.
“New technologies mainly represent a risk to people who ignore them.”
Do you think that technologies like blockchain represent an opportunity or a risk?
They're a risk to people who ignore them, and an opportunity to everyone else. It’s important to differentiate between blockchain itself, and some of its applications such as bitcoin. Blockchain's value lies in distributed ledger technology, whereas bitcoin, which uses this technology, remains highly speculative. In practical terms, once the whole distribution chain uses blockchain, its role as a transfer agent will take off. Take telephones for example - if you're on your own, they're no use. In this context, RBC I&TS supports the Fundchain initiative to develop this technology in Luxembourg. Using our global experience, we can develop solutions locally with Fintech companies, such as Fund Sales Intelligence with Spallian, developing an analysis solution for investment fund distribution flows.
What opportunities do you identify for RBC I&TS in particular and Luxembourg in general?
Brexit is an important card for Luxembourg to play, as it will be able to attract major players in different sectors. Support for an ecosystem based around Fintech also represents a positive point. Finally, the new AIFM Directive has changed the approach of many players in the private equity and real estate asset classes, who use regulated structures under the supervision of the CSSF. Thanks to our experience and status as a bank, RBC I&TS can position itself to offer these new players credit lines and all the services and requirements they are seeking. The dedicated team for this business sector numbered 50 people 12 months ago; now it has 120.