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Pilatus Bank addresses the importance of having individuals with the technology industry expertise PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 07 November 2017
As new and innovative technologies are sweeping through the banking industry, Antoniella Gauci, Risk Manager at Pilatus Bank, discusses the importance of having individuals with the technology industry expertise and vision within the Governance body of the banks 

Antoniella Gauci of Pilatus Bank believes that board performance has reached new levels of regulatory scrutiny. The guidelines issued by the ECB has laid out a set of qualitative criteria which credit institutions need to consider when assessing the suitability of members of their management body. Gauci explains that these guidelines demonstrate the expectations related to the calibre and composition of governance bodies. Furthermore, it highlights the importance of a management body comprising of members with diverse backgrounds and experiences, which commensurate to the business models of banks.

Antoniella Gauci explains that the banking industry is amidst a digital revolution bringing the most disruptive change that both the mainstream and private banking scenes have ever experienced. She believes that this calls for banks to take a new approach to governance, including selecting board members who have the knowledge and vision in financial technology. Gauci elaborates, “Advances in technology and innovation are shaping customer needs and expectations and have also become the topic of new regulatory requirements. It is not surprising that an increasing number of banks are aiming to become digital banking leaders and claiming to be at the forefront of innovation, however, these strategic goals are rarely reflected in the knowledge and skill sets of the suite of board members.” The Risk Manager at Pilatus Bank continues to explain that the priority when selecting board members over the past years has predominately been in credit risk and regulatory compliance, which are both core areas when maintaining a robust governance framework. However, only a few banks have proceeded to add digital and technology leaders to their boardrooms. Gauci believes that this has resulted in an inconsistency between shifting business objectives of banks and the expertise of the collective members of their boards. She predicts that this knowledge gap will hold many banks from the technological transformations needed to keep those banks relevant. She adds that a lack of direction from the board in relation to technological advances and innovative banking approaches puts banks at a disadvantage when trying to compete with fintech companies, which, most of the time are run by highly innovative and digitally savvy executives.

Antoniella Gauci states, “At Pilatus Bank we believe that adopting an innovative approach to banking for delivering a positive customer experience is the key to long-term sustainability. These goals and objectives reflect the highly versatile and diverse set of expertise of the members of management body of the Bank.” She concludes by emphasising that core to the success of Pilatus Bank is the active engagement of the management body members in all areas of the bank’s operations, including the risks and challenges brought about by technology and innovation. She believes that an open dialogue table within the governance body has been key for the bank to be able to predict and prepare for the impact and risks of technological advances.
 

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