Richard Burton, CEO of UniCredit Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB), talks about his team’s response to the Covid-19 crisis and explains how new ways of working are making lasting changes to how the CIB team interacts with clients and each other
How has the CIB team responded to the Covid-19 emergency?
We’ve seen a massive increase in remote working, about 80 per cent of the CIB team works from home. I am pleased to say it has worked really well and remote working is now an essential part of business continuity – of course, with even more vigilance regarding potential cybersecurity risks.
Over the course of Transform 2019 we launched an array of digital initiatives. Thanks to this, together with our operational flexibility and scalable infrastructure, we were able to rapidly step-up our remote working capacity giving us a strong footing to manage the effects of Covid-19.
Will there be any lasting changes to how the CIB team works?
We’ve seen many benefits! The pandemic has transformed our daily routines and forced a much larger part of our work to be carried out digitally, making the digital platforms we have put in place more crucial than ever.
It has also facilitated and accelerated a successful cultural shift within the Group and in our relationships with clients, while simultaneously advancing our digital agenda.
We can stay in touch with more clients and more often, while meetings over video conference allow us to connect more of our people to our clients. We can also connect more effectively across the Group. It has shortened our processes and is helping us to deliver a better client experience.
I’m certain many of these changes will bring lasting benefits to the CIB team and to UniCredit as a whole.
Have clients also embraced digital solutions?
Yes! This unprecedented situation has validated our transition towards increasingly efficient processes and innovative solutions that enhance customer experience.
We’ve made telling strides across the board when it comes to the digitalisation of services for our clients. We have rolled out digital solutions across CIB product lines that are driving efficiency for both the Bank and our clients.
For example; digital initiatives like we.trade and FinDynamic are providing much-needed support to businesses looking to stay liquid through this difficult period.
These tools have really shown their worth while clients are working remotely. Feedback from them to date has been extremely positive.
How have personally adapted to working from home?
At first I was a little apprehensive but in the end I have adapted and experienced the benefits. Of course, like everyone, I miss going out and meeting people, but being able to work from home is a great opportunity, especially in the current circumstances. Fortunately, smart working is performing well at UniCredit thanks to the infrastructure we have in place, and the innovation and commitment of the Unicredit Services team.
Finally, what is your message to UniCredit colleagues across the Group?
First, thank you for your extraordinary efforts in these extraordinary times.
Second, I commit the whole CIB team and all our resources to my UniCredit colleagues across the Group. We are here to help you serve your clients and their needs.
And third, stay safe!