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Global Banking & Finance Review
What Financial Services can learn from Building Societies and their “Customer First” philosophy

Tom Huxtable, Director, Thunderhead 

Historically, building societies are seen as the epitomeof trust and empathy.

They’ve always had customers at the heart of their business, and it’s fair to say that they operate on a relatively simple and robust principal of co-operation – something all companies should aspire to.

The business world today is facing an interesting challenge when it comes to customer engagement. As customers expect more, they are demanding higher levels of service and value and, according to a recent PWC Banking and Retail 2020 report, their level of trust is currently at an all-time low.

Interestingly though, this presents an opportunity for some B2C financial services to get ahead. They have the chance to meet customer expectations by emulating the original Building Society ethos.

How can consumer financial services drive long-term relationships, build trust and attend to customer’s needs in an era of digital transformation?

Here’s some key considerations –

Stay relevant amongst competition

Customer engagement is a fundamental driver for all industries but it can be hard to achieve. It can also be hard to stand out and lead the way when it comes to best practice in personal finance.

All financial services face pressures from new, dynamic market entrants, who have clout and power thanks to their scale and reach. These companies have made it easy for customers to carry out simple transactions online and via apps – which gives an overall more effortless service – something consumers crave as it fits around their busy life. Our customer journey with these kind of companies – not always banking – is smooth, effortless and the brands are visibly working with us rather than causing obstacles. To replicate this, providers…

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Banking in Sri Lanka with NDB Bank

Since 1979, National Development Bank PLC (NDB Bank) has been committed to the financial success of Sri Lankans. Global Banking & Finance Review interviewed Mr. Dimantha Seneviratne, Director and Group Chief Executive Officer at National Development Bank PLC about the bank’s customer focused approach, product creation and their continued commitment to development in Sri Lanka.

National Development Bank (NDB) has been working with SME clients for over 30 years. How has this market evolved over the years?

NDB’s inception goes back to 1979, as a premier development financing institution in Sri Lanka, which was an apex body in disbursing credit lines from foreign investors. Since then, to date, nurturing SMEs has been one of our core commitments. As such our contribution to SMEs is perfected over the many decades we’ve served them.

SMEs over the years have evolved significantly. In terms of economic significance, SMEs which were relatively less prominent in the past have now become a major force in the Sri Lankan economy. They also possess the potential to develop in to large scale businesses in the future. Furthermore, SMEs have seen making deeper penetration in to a vast number of industries such as agriculture, fisheries, textile, handicrafts, floriculture, constructions, retail, etc. They…

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