Cyber attacks, fintechs and how BNP Paribas plans to work with its clients going forward were on the agenda on the second day of the annual BNP Paribas Cash Management University.
Predictive data analytics is the future of banking success, argued Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, CEO of BNP Paribas, in his session on how the bank is reinventing its approach to innovate with and for corporates.
As a bank, “you should know two or three years in advance that a specific person is likely to be asking for a mortgage,” said Bonnafé, as an example.
“If you are trying to offer them a mortgage the day they are asking for one, you are too late. There are so many other businesses that can deliver the same thing,” he said.
Bonnafé argued that future success for companies will depend on the ability to be versatile and efficient, especially with regards to supply chains and logistics.
“We can help you do a better job with your data. Please tell us what kind of data you are looking for, it is not always that obvious,” he told an audience largely made up of treasury clients. “How can we focus on what is really relevant to your business?” he added.
Using data and being versatile is part of BNP Paribas’ DNA and philosophy going forward, said Bonnafé.
“The bulk of it is the qualitative approach, the digital transformation, utilising data and having the ability to develop and preserve our franchises the right way. This is the plan,” said Bonnafé.
He also added that the bank’s focus is “to maintain a certain level of profitability”.
“Cash management is one of our favourite sports. We have many sports, but we like this one very much”
“Our equity is growing because we give back only 50% of the net result to shareholders.
“Be sure we are ready to invest. We invest as much as we can. We are doing it the qualitative way,” Bonnafé continued.
“Feel free to tell us that a certain project is not relevant. It will save time for you and for us. Tell us we should look at this or that,” he told the audience.
“Cash management is one of our favourite sports. We have many sports, but we like this one very much. We like to be number one but it is a highly competitive environment,” added Bonnafé.
The professionalisation of hacking
Jamie Woodruff, an ethical hacker who has worked with the likes of Kim Kardashian, the United Nations and J.K. Rowling, was interviewed before he sat on a panel debate on cyber attacks.
“It is my job to do anything physically possible to break into a company’s computer systems without causing emotional and physical distress. I’ve been known to break into a bank dressed up as a pizza boy,” said Woodruff, by way of introduction.
He argued that for any business, staff are the weakest link in your cybersecurity.
“They are in the last line of defence and the weakest part of your infrastructure. Your employees are the weakest part,” said Woodruff.
“It is their job to hack rival companies because data is far more valuable than currency”
Far from being a teenager in a bedroom, hacking has evolved into a huge industry and has even been professionalised, according to Woodruff.
Hacking has “evolved to organised cybercrime. There are office blocks around the world with hackers who get given KPIs, they have salaries and pay their taxes legitimately,” said Woodruff.
“It is their job to hack rival companies because data is far more valuable than currency. When you get hold of that data now, they will sit there for months and years because that data just gets more and more valuable. It is a huge organised business,” argued Woodruff.
Read other reports from the December 2017 BNP Paribas Cash Management University here: