Our strategy

To remain relevant and responsible now and in the future, we have defined a clear purpose to guide us through change: Banking for better, for generations to come.

To continue creating lasting value for all of our stakeholders, we pursue a strategy aimed at building a bank fit for the future, able to adapt to a rapidly changing economic and social environment. Central to this strategy are the bank’s clients, and helping them make the shift to sustainability. Our strategy is based on three pillars: support clients’ transition to sustainability, reinvent the customer experience, and build a future-proof bank.

Strategic pillar 1 - Support our clients’ transition to sustainability

What’s the rationale?
ABN AMRO wants to contribute to a more sustainable economy, and we see sustainability as a business opportunity. Businesses are switching to more sustainable and / or circular models. Individuals, too, are moving to more sustainable lifestyles – they want to reduce their impact on the environment. We support clients as they make this transition to new products and models that enhance people’s welfare. We want to lead by example, by taking a responsible approach to investment, maintaining high standards of ethics and integrity, and having a positive impact on society.

What are we doing?
ABN AMRO is making more sustainable financing available to businesses. We are also investing more in renewable energies and, through our Mission 2030 programme, helping clients increase energy efficiency at their homes and commercial premises. At the same time, we are working closely with clients to increase the amount they invest sustainably. For private banking clients in the Netherlands, sustainable investments are already the default option.

Strategic pillar 2 - Reinvent the customer experience

What’s the rationale?
We need to keep pace with client expectations. Clients expect flawless service that is right the first time, every time – whether they are taking out a loan, opening new accounts, making payments or transferring money. They also want 24/7 access online, and via their phones and tablets. To compete, we have to offer clients proactive advice, as well as safe and hassle-free banking.

What are we doing?
We are continuing to invest in digitalisation to improve client service; at the same time, we work hard to protect data privacy and security. In many cases, our goal is to take the hassle out of banking. We’re also extending self-service features – in the Netherlands, these are proving very popular. In our processes, we’re removing the ‘paper’ – so there’s no longer the need for pen-and-ink signatures. Engagement with clients has decreased because of digitalisation; in response, we’ve introduced special ‘real-time triggers’ to ensure we maintain continuous contact and support our clients. We are introducing new apps, and extending video banking that allows us to serve clients outside the usual bank opening hours. We are also putting more money into FinTech through our EUR 100 million ABN AMRO Ventures.¹ To support this approach, we are establishing partnerships to develop new products and services. In doing so, we will retain the client relationship; our partners will contribute new technologies and solutions.

¹ Previously called ABN AMRO Digital Impact Fund.

Strategic pillar 3 - Build a future-proof bank

What’s the rationale?
To deliver our strategy, we have to be highly efficient. We have to engage our employees, develop new skills and reduce costs. Our aim is to be a purpose-led organisation that encourages high performance levels, and that has a diverse and inclusive workforce. Compliance is effectively our licence to operate; we take our role as a gatekeeper very seriously. At the same time, we are increasing our capacity, so we can keep up with the regulatory agenda. We know that clients expect banking to be safe, which is why we put such emphasis on data privacy and protection.

What are we doing?
ABN AMRO is rationalising its product portfolio, streamlining processes, changing its service model, and continuing to ‘rejuvenate’ its IT systems. Using new technologies should make the bank quicker and more responsive. We are looking to progress to the next level of digitalisation and productivity; we’re doing this through product rationalisation – by changing the service model and balancing investments, while becoming more prudent and efficient in how we deliver our products and services. We are employing Artificial Intelligence to support regulatory compliance. Our IT transformation is on track; we have put in place a DevOps programme, combining IT operations and software development to help make us more efficient. We are also cutting costs: our aim now is to reduce costs by EUR 1.1 billion by the end of 2020.¹ Internally, we are developing a workforce that is fit for the future. That means having the right person at the right place at the right time. We are focused on attracting and retaining talent, and investing in our workplace to increase productivity and improve the employee experience.

¹ Compared to 2015.