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SMEs’ Self-Service Banking Leads Norway’s Largest FI To Downsize

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Norway’s largest financial services group, DNB, is taking a new approach to its SME customers as small businesses turn to digital, self-service banking solutions.

The bank revealed Wednesday (Mar. 8) that it launched a restructuring efforts as SMEs and enterprises demand more digital banking services. DNB’s Corporate Banking unit will downsize as part of the restructuring, the FI said, and will combine its current seven regions into four. Customer teams under these units will also merge. In all, about 100 full-time positions will be cut, the bank said.

“Personal customers are not the only customers who have increased their use of self-service solutions,” said DNB Group Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Banking Benedicte Schilbred Fasmer in a statement. “SME customers also solve most of their daily banking needs themselves. At the same time, the bank is digitalizing its own processes.”

“Consequently, we, as a bank, must meet new requirements and are strengthening our commitment to developing simple digital solutions and useful tools to help increase our customers’ chances of success,” Fasmer added.

According to DNB, 90 percent of SME customer relationships at the bank are established digitally. Use of its mobile service increased by 52 percent between the first and second halves of 2016, and SME use of telephone, email and chat is “increasing rapidly” as the leading ways in which small business owners talk to their DNB representatives.

“We are changing to be there for our customers and offer relevant solutions where customers want them, both physically and digitally,” Fasmer said. “Our aim is to be an attractive partner for companies across Norway. We will be a long-term, relationship-based and predictable bank for our customers. DNB will lend at least as much money to Norwegian small and medium-sized enterprises in 2017 as we have done in the past.”

The bank said it is also downsizing its Personal Banking unit.

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