Danske Bank helps customers and clients be financially confident and achieve their ambitions by making daily banking and important financial decisions easy. Danske Bank is a strong Nordic bank with a presence in 13 countries. With IT development centers in Denmark, Lithuania, Poland, and India, Danske Bank is a truly global company. Digitalisation is at the heart of Danske Bank’s strategy, and the bank is continuously making significant investments in IT, making it one of the largest IT employers in Denmark.
This interview with CIO of Digital Banking IT and Analytics, Martin Stampe, will put a spotlight on the current opportunities and challenges in Danske Bank.
Danske Bank has come quite far in digitalisation of the customer experience through various digital channels such as e-Banking, Mobile Banking, Smart Watch.
“We have done reasonably well in this area, and our customers are very satisfied with the digital experience we are providing them. Furthermore, we have won a number of Danish and international awards for this work. At the same time, we do realise that we have a big challenge ahead of us,” says Martin Stampe.
Danske Bank, and the banking industry in general, is challenged significantly by negative interest rates, regulation, changing customer expectations, and fierce competition from incumbent financial institutions and FinTechs. These forces of change put an urgency to continuous optimisation, change, and potential disruption of their business model as well as improvement and automation of internal processes.
“In Danske Bank, we are taking agility seriously. Currently, we are transforming the setup and ways of working for more than 4,000 colleagues with the introduction of an agile organisation,” says Martin Stampe.
Soon the development organisation will be structured in cross-functional Tribes, where each Tribe works towards its own mission and is end-to-end responsible for that area. It’s the people in the Tribe who holds the decision mandate.
Martin Stampe continues, “we allow our colleagues to do what they know is best, while the senior leaders only set the direction – not determining actions in detail – and thus, letting teams determine what is most relevant for our customers and how to build the best solutions.”
Previously, Danske Bank has had good examples of successful agile adoptions in parts of the company. However, these ‘pockets’ of success have hit an organisational and technical ceiling when trying to scale and realise the benefits across the bank. “Now, we are changing the full operating model to succeed with new ways of working and deliver on our ambitions,” explains Martin Stampe.
By organising cross-functionally – across IT, business, customer services, and risk – Danske Bank will be better prepared to meet the ever-changing world of tomorrow. “In addition, we believe it will improve the employee engagement; by making it more fun to go to work in Danske Bank,” says Martin Stampe.
Danske Bank is recruiting from practically all over the world. They are determined to create an engaging workplace for all employees with exciting and challenging tasks. New employees should learn something new every day. Within the organisation, employees work with cutting edge technology and can quickly get into a talk about loosely coupled microservices, streaming technology, real-time analytics, AI, robotics, or cloud computing.
“We want to be a bank where everyone has the same opportunities and feels free to be who they are. Diversity and inclusion are considered key to unlocking the full potential of our employees and broadening our thinking which will form the basis for better decision making.” Says Martin Stampe.
For example, Danske Bank has a target to increase the share of women in senior leadership positions from 23% to 35% (equivalent to a 50% increase).