Banks should not be fearful of new ideas, writes Simon Tribelhorn in an opinion piece. Instead, the CEO of the Liechtenstein Bankers Association says they should develop a new culture of innovation and error tolerance. Liechtenstein is perfectly positioned for this task.

Banks spend a lot on innovation, but until now they have only been able to “develop real market innovations on a very limited scale” writes Simon Tribelhorn in connection with a study conducted by the Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research. According to this study, the greatest mistake is that “they want to be innovative, but only digitalize the current business model and the processes this necessitates”. Banks are being challenged by IT companies from other industries that have a better understanding of the end consumer and their needs, and are effectively capitalizing on this, said the CEO of the Liechtenstein Bankers Association in an article for the money and wealth supplement of the Wirtschaft Regional newspaper. 

The banks therefore “above all need a new culture of innovation and error tolerance”. It is not the errors themselves that are the problem “but the inhibiting fear of them”. “Furthermore, there needs to be a willingness to accept change and take a critical view of the past, questioning it without blinkers.”

Owing to short distances and the relative size of its banks, Liechtenstein is in a better position starting out than many other financial centers. Laws and regulation are business-friendly, the state finances healthy and banks’ capitalization above-average. It is important that employees are taken on this journey, because the pace of change is only going to increase.

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