Santiago de Larrea Teruel, Head of Innovation and Digital Transformation at Crèdit Andorrà, shares their approach to digital transformation, the reasons for their effort to create a more flexible business model, and how the journey is going for the bank so far. This interview is a part of the upcoming Digital Reinvention Radar 2023 report brought to you by the Digital Reinvention Community.
Q: Can you tell us more about your bank or your bank group?
A: Crèdit Andorrà Financial Group has a presence in six countries, with its headquarters in Andorra. Our Andorra business units include retail banking, corporate and SME banking, private banking, fund administration and insurance.
In Spain, we offer private banking, fund administration and insurance. The Luxembourg subsidiary covers private banking and fund administration, while in the USA, Mexico and Panama we focus on private banking.
The group has a business volume of more than €25 billion and a net profit in 2021 of €32.98 million. We are the leading bank in Andorra. The group has 750 employees worldwide, with about 350 located in Andorra.
Our values are:
• Be able to provide the best services to our customers
• Be empathic with your customers and co-workers
• Be a pioneer
• Be an important actor in the Andorran Society.
Q: Is your bank currently going through a banking transformation process or has it taken up a project of this sort? If so, can you give us more details on the timeline, teams involved, initial aim, etc...
A: We are continuously trying to transform the company into a more flexible model, within the limits of what a systemic bank can do. We started projects to transform the company back in 2016 and have been trying different approaches since then.
We know that a real deep transformation can last a decade, all the more because the goal is not to go from A to B, but go from A to ‘whatever is needed at a specific moment in time’. We have an innovation department pushing forward initiatives, and the directive team is getting involved more and more.
Q: What prompted this transformation process? What was the initial goal? Were you driven by any particular macro trends or competitive dynamics?
A: Two major reasons prompted the transformation. Firstly, the need to create new products and services that would differentiate us from our competitors. Secondly, our country is betting on being more open to Europe and an innovation hub, and we want to be part of that.
Q: What does your competitive landscape look like in the transformation aspect? How do you position yourself against the competition?
A: We are seeing different strategies in our competitive landscape, but everybody is betting on reinvention.
Q: What has been the impact of this project(s) so far? Can you specify what has changed and how?
A: We have seen some impact indeed. We succeeded in creating several "end-to-end service-based" teams, breaking functional silos. This is very good as it allows services to evolve and adapt to customer needs. There is of course a great journey in front of us, with challenges such as new product adoption and organizational evolution, but we are getting to it.
Q: Are there any plans to include more business lines, or are there any future relevant transformation projects you can mention? What is your/your institution's vision for the future of financial services in this aspect?
A: There are definitely a lot of plans that are being proposed, relating to new business models and new ways to relate to customers and other players in the fintech sector. These have still to be revised and approved.