Sibos 2019: MUFG “ready to work with fintechs”
Japan-based Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) is “ready to work with fintechs”, revealing it already has its eyes on some and wants to open up the conversation as much as possible, says its EMEA head of cash and liquidity management Alan Verschoyle-King in an exclusive interview with FinTech Futures.
The hope is that MUFG will change its international face which currently looks like a corporate bank outside of Japan, tapping into the financial institution (FI) space and changing the current statistics: that 95% of its EMEA clients are corporates.
Though historically a build and buy bank, MUFG is keen to have an open dialogue with fintechs now and hints that soon there may be some partnerships or acquisitions in the space.
“When Japanense organisations commit to do something, they stick to it,” says Verschoyle-King, who describes MUFG as a “multi-local bank” which ranks “top-three” in Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.
The ideal scenario for MUFG would be that services such as pooling, netting and interest optimisation are “regionalised”, says Verschoyle-King. That way, Asia would see “consistent capabilities” across the region.
To achieve this, the company are “going back to basics” by taking stock of its position in the market and undergoing the “cathartic process” of re-evaluating what its customers want, says Verschoyle-King.
This approach has been “incredibly helpful” for the firm, by confirming that clients are in fact consistent in what they do and don’t want from MUFG.
For Verschoyle-King, the three main “challenges” in this evaluation process have been establishing client satisfaction, internal partner compliance and culture assurances. All these challenges have, however, been “comfortably manageable”.
Reflecting on the themes at Sibos this year, Verschoyle-King feels as though the drive for “real-time” in everything is not always what MUFG’s clients want. He warns of the danger of immediacy in all things becoming “a blue thing in isolation”, an “answer looking for a question” rather than the other way round.