Corporate News

CEO Insight Magazine - Interview with David Power

July 4, 2024
July 4, 2024
CEO Insight Magazine - Interview with David Power

Contemporary Banking

By: Dominic Hale

In this interview with David Power, the accomplished CEO of BNF Bank, we gain insights into his transformative leadership journey. With a distinguished career spanning global financial hubs, David has steered BNF Bank to new heights.

What can you tell us about the achievement of third-country branch authorization in the UK? Why is this such a significant and positive development for BNF Bank and its clients?

David Power: BNF Bank has been actively operating in the United Kingdom through its London branch since 2019. In November 2023, we achieved a significant milestone by obtaining approval to operate as a third-country branch authorized by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) within the Bank of England, with the consent of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

This approval to operate in the UK marks a pivotal achievement for BNF Bank, aligning with our long-term strategic objectives to strengthen the Bank’s position and uphold our core values. This milestone enables us to navigate evolving trends and challenges in the banking industry effectively.

The London branch operates independently from our retail branches in Malta, focusing primarily on Commercial Real Estate through bilateral and syndicated loans within the London market. Additionally, investors can benefit from competitive deposit rates available for their sterling balances.

With a dedicated team, we offer tailored financial solutions, creating products that precisely address the unique needs of our customers. Our team remains vigilant on regulatory changes impacting the sector, providing guidance on compliance with banking and financial regulations set forth by the PRA and FCA.

How does the UK fit into BNF Bank’s Vision 26 Strategy?

David Power: The establishment of our UK Branch presents a valuable opportunity for BNF Bank to extend support and guidance to our Maltese customers seeking to expand their operations into the UK market. Additionally, it opens doors for us to enhance our presence in the Corporate Real Estate and Corporate Finance sectors in the UK.

As the sole Maltese bank with this opportunity, we are well-positioned to penetrate the UK market, providing distinctive products and services in alignment with our Vision 26 expansion strategy. Our seasoned corporate banking team is dedicated to delivering a tailored approach that precisely meets the unique business requirements of our customers.

What infrastructure enhancements is the new strategic partnership with ITSS, Aspire Systems, and Temenos bringing to BNF Bank in terms of service efficiencies that will positively translate to the customer experience?

David Power: The collaboration with ITSS, Aspire Systems, and Temenos marks a significant stride in BNF Bank’s journey to modernize its banking operations, ensuring competitiveness and relevance in the dynamic banking landscape. This strategic partnership is geared towards delivering an exceptional banking experience to our valued customers. The implementation of cutting-edge digital banking solutions is poised to yield substantial cost improvements, operational excellence, and an overall enhanced customer experience. By introducing new digital channels, we aim to empower the Bank to offer customers a seamless and improved banking experience through user-friendly and relevant digital platforms.

Which upcoming developments at BNF Bank are you most excited about and why?

David Power: Undoubtedly, our primary focus is on the implementation of our cutting-edge core banking system, accompanied by a comprehensive overhaul of all our digital channels and touchpoints. This transformative journey has already commenced with the successful launch of our new website, leveraging the latest UX technology to offer customers a glimpse of the innovative future that awaits them.

We recently launched our digital onboarding programme, enabling customers to open an account seamlessly from the comfort of their homes. Additionally, we have entered into a strategic partnership with Euronet, allowing our clients free access to over 200 ATMs across the Islands. We are also about to launch our brand new state-of-the-art banking app, along with a new suite of dynamic credit cards catering to all our segments.

“Our focus on philanthropy, education, culture, heritage, health, sports, and the environment reflects our commitment to making a meaningful impact in the communities we serve.”

Moreover, we have just opened our new branch at Campus Hub in Malta, designed to serve our student and professional market in a comfortable and modern environment. We will shortly begin a brand refresh, introducing this new look across all branches.

This multifaceted approach incorporates the very latest in Software as a Service (SaaS) technology and open banking systems, positioning us with an impressive array of offerings. Amidst all these developments, we’re committed to delivering superior service to our customers, supported by the most advanced technology and facilitated by our highly professional banking team in Malta. It encapsulates our ambition of placing our customers at the centre of everything we do.

BNF Bank is active across several community projects and initiatives. What do these specific causes the bank has chosen to align with tell us about its values and priorities?

David Power: Our focus on philanthropy, education, culture, heritage, health, sports, and the environment reflects our commitment to making a meaningful impact in the communities we serve. Emphasizing local initiatives aligns with our brand value of empathy, fostering genuine human inter-actions and community building.

You have a proven pedigree in respect of scaling up and restructuring. Is there a David Power approach that is similarly being applied at BNF Bank? If so, what is it?

David Power: Navigating the intricate path of scaling up an organization or establishing a new one hinges significantly on the technological arsenal at your disposal and effective leadership. In today’s banking landscape, the possibilities are vast, but the success of these opportunities largely depends on the engine propelling the change. Leveraging technology as an enabling force empowers you to penetrate and dominate specific segments that may have posed challenges in terms of difficulty or expense.

A crucial aspect of this journey is maintaining clear and concise communication with all stakeholders. Ensuring that each individual understands their role and contribution to the collective goal is paramount. While challenging, this aspect is essential for success. Continuous feedback and engagement serve as the heartbeat of the organization, providing the flexibility to adjust course swiftly when necessary. Effective communication, strong leadership, active listening, and empowerment form the bedrock of a prosperous transformation, complemented by the recognition and celebration of successes, regardless of their scale.

Reflecting on these principles, I leave you with this profound thought:

“Always remember that leadership is a privilege. When occupying a leadership role, your influence may shape the trajectories of individuals’ entire careers and often, their lives.”

For more information: About | BNF Bank