This week’s Member Spotlight article covers NIBC and the bank’s Innovation Lab. Next to its well-known corporate and retail business lines, the bank has set up an Innovation Lab to stimulate the adoption of technological advancements within the bank as well as to enter strategic partnerships with innovative companies.
NIBC and its origins
In 1945, when NIBC was founded, the bank focused on financing visionary entrepreneurs to help rebuild the Netherlands after the second World War. Nowadays, the enterprising bank offers a range of services and products in advisory, financing and co-investing. NIBC has a retail line and a corporate banking line. On the retail side, NIBC offers mortgage products and online savings accounts through NIBC Direct. The bank provides business related products in 7 different sectors on the corporate side. “Professional, entrepreneurial and innovative” are the bank’s core values and the company regards itself as the bank of choice for decisive moments. Given the current, impactful changes taking place in the financial landscape, these statements are especially relevant today.
Located in the Netherlands, Germany, the UK and Belgium, the company has an international presence with an estimate of 800 employees spread across their four countries.
NIBC Innovation Lab
The Innovation Lab was founded early 2016 by Duncan de Vries. At that time, Duncan saw the potential of all the ideas generated within the bank, especially against the background of a changing landscape. The Innovation Lab stimulates company-wide entrepreneurial endeavours and seeks to make employees more proactive in their approach towards innovation.
Innovation areas and approach
One of the main focus areas of NIBC’s Innovation Lab is the experimentation with new, data-driven technologies, that improve current product offerings towards customers or that improve business processes. By connecting external capabilities with internal resources, third-parties can benefit from NIBC’s customer base and financial data as well as potentially deploying their products or services directly into projects. From the bank’s perspective, NIBC can experiment with new technologies – especially in the field of Artificial Intelligence and data analysis – and gain first-hand experience of the culture of FinTech companies.
NIBC takes a cooperative approach towards innovation as the bank looks to enter partnerships with parties devoted to financial innovation. Current investments include SME leasing company BEEQUIP, finance specialist Ebury and fintech company builder Finleap. Areas of interest to the Innovation Lab are big data, machine learning, predictive analytics and artificial intelligence (AI). Acting as the eyes and ears of the bank regarding financial innovation, the Innovation Lab is proactively looking for innovative companies to start experiments and also welcomes inspirational speakers.
Click here for the video of the ‘Think YES’ campaign (in Dutch)
By Michael Brooijmans, Research Analyst at Holland FinTech