As economic growth in the eurozone remains sluggish, banks are under pressure to protect their margins. Enabling employees to focus on commercial work can be a powerful way for financial services organizations to add value-but repetitive, time-consuming administration tasks can be a significant drain on productivity.

Maximizing operational efficiency is a key goal for ING Belgium, a fully owned subsidiary of ING Group. Part of a leading European retail and wholesale banking group, ING Belgium manages assets totaling around €4.7 billion and employs 8,200 people.

Powered by Temenos Wealth Front Office, the new way of working will enable employees to onboard clients faster

Private banking for High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) is an important component of ING Belgium’s business. In the past, onboarding new HNWI clients relied heavily on manual, paper-based workflows. Employees re-keyed data collected from new clients into the relevant middle-office systems for processing and approval—a time-consuming process. The bank saw an opportunity to reduce the time it took to activate new clients by eliminating these manual steps.

Enabling Cross-Border Collaboration

A cross-border organization, ING Belgium’s operations are closely integrated with its sister company ING Netherlands. To enable higher levels of efficiency, the organizations decided to standardize on a single core banking platform for both retail banking businesses.

As part of the standardization initiative—named Unite—ING Belgium saw an opportunity to digitize and automate private banking workflows for both countries. As well as offering relationship and portfolio managers a digital onboarding workflow for new clients, it could free the middle office from data-entry tasks.

Improve operational cost-efficiency and free more time for commercial activities

Marc Vanvilthoven, Product Owner at ING Belgium, comments: “We were confident that implementing digital workflows for our employees would significantly shorten our time to market for contract activation. Crucially, process automation will allow our middle office to focus more on commercial work for the private banking business.”

Embarking on a Digital Transformation

ING Belgium has been using the Temenos investment management platform for more than 20 years to help its portfolio and relationship managers serve their HNWI clients effectively. To build on its success using Temenos solutions, the organization decided to enhance and extend the platform.

“Temenos Wealth is well-suited to managing our discretionary and advisory business, but it is also extremely versatile. For example, when the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive [MiFID] came into force, we were able to roll out the solution to our retail banking business to support the new regulatory requirements.”

Marc Vanvilthoven, Product Owner

Following a successful proof-of-concept exercise, ING Belgium began its digitization initiative for private banking. Powered by Temenos Wealth Front Office, the new way of working will enable employees to onboard clients faster.

ING Belgium is now in the first phase of the project, which involves migrating from its legacy Sybase platform to Oracle Database, which is the current ING corporate standard. For the retail banking division, the project will finish when the organization deploys Temenos Wealth on the new, unified platform for the Belgium and Netherlands businesses. For private banking, the project will continue with the development of automated workflows for its front-of-house and middle-office employees.

Best private bank in Belgium by Global Finance Magazine in 2018

Building a Strong Partnership

As it forges ahead with its digital transformation, ING Belgium is collaborating closely with Temenos. In addition to helping the bank achieve a smooth migration from Sybase to Oracle, Temenos helped the bank transition from an on-premises data centre to a private cloud environment. The move enables ING Belgium to realise significant reductions in costs and avoid capital outlay on server, storage and networking infrastructure.

“By partnering with a leading enterprise like Temenos, we benefit from their substantial investment in support, research and development. Even though Temenos is a large organisation, we have a direct line to their engineers – so we know that we can get expert technical assistance whenever we need it.”

Eric Mailleux, IT Area Lead, Investments

Deploying Automated Processes

Today, users in ING Belgium’s private banking business access Temenos Wealth Front Office via a web interface. From here, employees can run crucial compliance processes such as MiFID checks. Soon, the entire activation process for new contracts will be automated from end to end for business users in ING Belgium and ING Netherlands.

“By enabling our client and portfolio managers to do more of the client onboarding work directly in Temenos Wealth Front Office, we are cutting duplicated effort dramatically. Today, our employees can even collect client signatures digitally, which means there is no more need to shuffle paper between different parts of the business.”

Marc Vanvilthoven, Product Owner

Powering Industry-Leading Services

ING Belgium’s digital workflows will improve operational cost-efficiency and free more time for commercial activities. And by enhancing the profitability of its private banking segment, the bank can protect its margins in a challenging economy.

“Temenos Wealth offers us the best of both worlds: we can adapt the solution to our requirements without generating unmanageable amounts of custom code,” says Eric Mailleux. “As a result, we’re making the business happy because they can differentiate on the quality and responsiveness of their services. And from the IT perspective, we’re empowering our engineers to develop and deploy new capabilities while keeping technical debt to a minimum.”

Eric Mailleux concludes: “In 2018, ING was awarded best private bank in Belgium by Global Finance Magazine. Temenos Wealth played an important role in that success, and I would definitely recommend the solution.”