Former Nordea CEO: banks will become platforms to stay relevant to customers


In our recent open banking report – Inside the minds of Europe’s bankers – we quizzed nearly 270 financial executives across Europe, and sat down with some of the leading minds in the field to get to the bottom of the biggest challenges, threats and opportunities of open banking.


Delivering better digital services for customers is one of the core opportunities of the open banking movement. In fact, our recent survey reveals that 46% of bankers see developing better digital services as the biggest opportunity of all – followed by increasing customer personalisation (44%).

And while the majority of bankers (89%) are relatively confident about the changes that need to be made over the next five years, this is only the beginning. The open banking journey we are on will be a 20-year transformation that will see banks offering more non-financial services alongside traditional banking ones.

Senior Tink adviser and former Nordea CEO Christian Clausen talks to Tink about how banks need to move outside of their core services to remain relevant – and become a go-to platform for their customers.

How do bankers perceive the open banking movement?

Their attitudes have changed a lot in the last few years. Not long ago, they were negative towards open banking, and working against opening up. There’s been a shift to a more positive attitude about the opportunities. Now the question is: how do you attack it and adjust your business models?

What should banks be focussing on in order to thrive?

There are two real themes going forward. The first is relevance. All banks have accounts, but making them relevant is when you put content into context. If it’s relevant, customers will go to their banking app and use it. If it’s not, your customers will go somewhere else.

The second is that banks need to make it possible to become a platform for their customers, instead of just being a financial app; something you go into by default every day.

What else do banks need to think about to transform digitally?

Banks need to build a culture that will allow them to think about the business model of the bank as a platform and not a physical thing. Open banking is only part of the equation. Banks are moving from an old model with old systems to a fully digitalised platform.

What will the tipping point be in banking?

The big shift will be when one of the big banks moves in the direction of creating a platform. Then it’s obvious what the others will do about it. But it’s not happening overnight, and there’s no cookbook for getting it right.

Banks have to move and start trying or they will fail. They need to digitalise and build on the successes they get.

What’s your advice for bankers?

Whether you like it or not, open banking is happening. You’d better join the party or you’ll be left outside, and you’ll lose your customer interface. Most banks see this clearly now, and it won’t be long until it’s all banks.

Download your copy of the full report to get the most up-to-date picture on how executives see the open banking movement, the regulations and the future.


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