Societies and economies are faced with daunting challenges as they grapple with the emergence of new technologies, a revolution in how we work and climate change. As a Landesbank, Helaba is committed to its special role and responsibility. CEO Thomas Groß explains in an interview how the bank must chart its future strategic course so that it can continue to act as a reliable partner for its clients, the local regions it serves and its employees.
Providing our clients with outstanding products and services remains an ever-present challenge for us and is the key to our success. For this to succeed, I see three strategic issues: diversifying our business model and boosting our efficiency, modernising and digitising our IT infrastructure as well as addressing the issues of sustainability and diversity.
On top of this, we have to deal with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which will continue to preoccupy us all for some time to come.
Thanks to the high quality of our portfolio, we have not experienced any significant defaults so far. Nevertheless, we expect to see material effects of the crisis before the end of this year and in the coming year. For this reason, as a precautionary measure, we have taken additional steps to raise our loan loss provisions. The pressure from an already fiercely competitive banking sector will rise, regulatory requirements will continue to pose challenges and there will be an ever-increasing focus on sustainability and digitisation.
Helaba is able to tackle these issues from a position of continued strength, and we are self-confident and optimistic as we look to the future. This makes it all the more important, though, that we turn our attention to strategic issues.
"As far as efficiency is concerned, our transformation programme Scope has already yielded initial results. Despite all the obstacles we face, it is imperative that we remain firmly committed to this approach. We must operate our business without any significant increase in costs for the foreseeable future.
However, our strategy also involves identifying areas of future growth. In this regard, we believe that a greater diversification of our business activities will give us the chance to enter new market segments and, at the same time, to further minimise potential risks."
"Over the next few years, we will be investing heavily in our IT infrastructure. With the ongoing rollout of new end-user devices, we have taken a crucial first step in implementing our future mobile working concept and modernising our entire IT landscape.
In addition, our digitisation initiatives are increasingly focused on making the most effective use of our data resources - the catchphrase here being 'smart data'. As a result, we hope to be able to enhance our collaboration with clients and unlock additional business opportunities."
"Sustainability is in our DNA and we are able to demonstrate that sustainability and profitability can go hand in hand. But it is also clear that we need to make much faster progress in this area. That is why we have launched HelabaSustained as a long-term project for the future. The aim is to strengthen our capacity to support our clients with sustainable financial products. This is because we want to actively help our clients in their own transformation towards a sustainable world.
One hallmark of a sustainable company is also a sustainable approach to human resources. This entails knowing, developing and making use of existing talent and skills more effectively. It also includes promoting diversity."
„The aim is to strengthen our capacity to support our clients with sustainable financial products. This is because we want to actively help our clients in their own transformation towards a sustainable world.”
In this film, Thomas Groß, Helaba's CEO, explains why business and sustainability will be inextricably linked in the future.
I believe we are well positioned, albeit the challenges we face are definitely not going to get any smaller. Helaba is a bank that wants to help our clients, the regions we operate in and our employees to thrive. In order to continue doing this, we have to change. We have laid the groundwork for this change. That is why we must devote all our attention to the three strategic areas of action, both in the months and likely years ahead.