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Recap: executive lunch with Medy van der Laan


Today an executive lunch was organised by WIFS with the new president of the NVB, Medy van der Laan. Lunch at her own dining table, that is, as the meeting was digital. With a mixed field of participants, Medy's first observations about our sector and the challenges she faces in her new role passed by.

First of all, it is a pity that it is not seen the sector is making such enormous efforts to do better and learn from the mistakes of the past. The tension between a sector with great social awareness that is at the same time in the corner where the blows fall (grabbers etc). The great encounters with a new generation of leaders, who look and act differently. The sector can certainly act more self-aware. She mentions the motto "Strong banks, strong society", which means that performing well yourself actually contributes to the social value of the bank.

Sustainability is one of the big topics on the NVB's agenda. A big and important topic, where the financial sector can positively make its mark. Medy stresses that we must prevent banks from getting into the role where they have to enforce sustainability, instead of politicians taking responsibility. Banks' customers reduce CO2, they ultimately have to do it, the bank facilitates and stimulates. Very important, but even the bank cannot do it alone, it is the interplay of a large number of parties in the real economy.

In addition, the gatekeeper function is important. A lot of money is involved and many demands are made by regulators. At the same time, further down the chain, the capacity is insufficient to achieve more visible results on money laundering and fraud prevention. And it also ensures that banks can no longer offer certain products because it is simply not possible to comply with all (European) rules. And is it still explainable to customers the administrative burden caused by all the supporting documents required to open an account or take out a mortgage? The increased regulatory burden and the attitude of regulators are also causing banks not to take risks. Now is also the time to stand up more for customers, share stories, build understanding and discuss dilemmas. 

In that context, Paul Polman's definition of value was shared by one of the participants: "Is society better off because your organisation is there?" Then you are of value. In having conversations, telling stories, discussing dilemmas, feminine values are valuable - no matter from whom, it gives a fresh perspective and a certain vulnerability, which can open up the conversation.