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Navigating Transformation


In this interview with David Power, the accomplished CEO of BNF Bank, we gain insights into his transformative leadership journey. With a distinguished career spanning global financial hubs, David has steered BNF Bank to new heights.

CEO Insight: What can you tell us about the achievement of third-country branch authorization in the UK? Why is this such a significant and positive development for BNF Bank and its clients?

BNF Bank has actively operated in the United Kingdom through its London branch since 2019. In November 2023, we obtained approval to operate a third-country branch authorized by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) within the Bank of England, with the consent of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Our approval to operate in the UK marks a significant achievement for BNF Bank, aligning with our long-term strategic objectives aimed at fortifying the Bank’s standing and upholding our core values. This milestone positions us to navigate evolving trends and challenges in the banking industry.

The London branch functions independently from our retail branches in Malta, with a primary focus on Commercial Real Estate through bilateral and syndicated loans within the London market. Additionally, investors can benefit from competitive deposit rates available for their sterling balances.

With a dedicated team, we offer tailored financial solutions, crafting products that precisely address the unique needs of our customers. This team remains vigilant on regulatory shifts impacting the sector, providing guidance on compliance with banking and financial regulations set forth by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

CEO Insight: How does the UK fit into BNF Bank’s Vision 26 Strategy?

The establishment of our UK Branch presents a valuable opportunity for BNF Bank to extend support and guidance to our Maltese customers seeking to expand their operations into the UK market. Additionally, it opens doors for us to enhance our presence in the Corporate Real Estate and Corporate Finance sectors in the UK.

As the sole Maltese bank with this opportunity, we are well-positioned to penetrate the UK market, providing distinctive products and services in alignment with our Vision 26 expansion strategy. Our seasoned corporate banking team is dedicated to delivering a tailored approach that precisely meets the unique business requirements of our customers.

CEO Insight: What infrastructure enhancements is the new strategic partnership with Aspire Systems and Temenos bringing to BNF Bank in terms of service efficiencies that will positively translate to the customer experience?

The collaboration with Aspire Systems and Temenos marks a significant stride in BNF Bank’s journey to modernize its banking operations, ensuring competitiveness and relevance in the dynamic banking landscape. This strategic partnership is geared towards delivering an exceptional banking experience to our valued customers.

The implementation of cutting-edge digital banking solutions is poised to yield substantial cost improvements, operational excellence, and an overall enhanced customer experience. By introducing new digital channels, we aim to empower the Bank to offer customers a seamless and improved banking experience through user-friendly and relevant digital platforms.

CEO Insight: Which upcoming developments at BNF Bank are you most excited about and why?

Undoubtedly, our primary focus is on the implementation of our cutting-edge core banking system, accompanied by a comprehensive overhaul of all our digital channels and touchpoints. This transformative journey has already commenced with the successful launch of our new website, leveraging the latest UX technology to offer customers a glimpse of the innovative future that awaits them.

In the pipeline is the imminent launch of our digital onboarding program, enabling customers to open an account seamlessly from the comfort of their homes. Additionally, we have exciting developments, including the launch of a new Credit Card offering and noteworthy updates related to our ATM network.

This multifaceted approach incorporates the latest in Software as a Service (SaaS) technology and open banking systems, positioning us with an impressive array of offerings. Amidst all these developments, we’re committed to delivering a superior service to our customers, supported by the most advanced technology, and facilitated by our highly professional banking team in Malta. It encapsulates our ambition of placing our customers at the centre of everything we do.

CEO Insight: BNF Bank is active across several community projects and initiatives. What do these specific causes the bank has chosen to align with tell us about its values and priorities?

Our focus on philanthropy, education, culture, heritage, health, sports, and the environment reflects our commitment to making a meaningful impact in the communities we serve. Emphasizing local initiatives aligns with our brand value of empathy, fostering genuine human interactions and community building.

CEO Insight: You have a proven pedigree in respect of scaling up and restructuring. Is there a David Power approach that is similarly being applied at BNF Bank? If so, what is it?

In navigating the complex terrain of scaling up an organization or establishing one anew, the pivotal element lies in the technological arsenal at your disposal and leadership. In the contemporary banking landscape, the possibilities are boundless, yet the efficacy of these opportunities hinges on the engine driving the change. Having technology as an enabling force empowers you to penetrate and dominate specific segments that might have otherwise posed challenges in terms of difficulty or expense.

A crucial aspect throughout this journey is maintaining clear and concise communication with all stakeholders. Ensuring that every individual comprehends their role and contribution to the collective goal is vital. This is a challenging aspect of the process, but it is essential for success. Continuous feedback and engagement serve as the pulse of the organization, allowing for the flexibility to alter course swiftly when needed. Effective communication, leadership, active listening, and empowerment are foundational to a prosperous transformation, coupled with the acknowledgment and celebration of successes, regardless of their scale.

Reflecting on these principles, I leave you with this profound thought: “Always remember that leadership is a privilege. When occupying a leadership role, your influence may shape the trajectories of individuals’ entire careers and often, their lives.”

For more information: https: www.bnf.bank/about