30 May 2016

Business Forum Frankfurt 2016 - Building for the Future

200 members of German SWIFT community gather to discuss the future of the financial industry.

A record 200 delegates from the German community gathered for the Business Forum Frankfurt and SWIFT Germany AGM 2016 on 19 April at Deutsche Bank’s Auditorium in Frankfurt. The theme for this year’s event was “Building for the Future: Disruption, Innovation and the Transformation of Banking”. Jürgen Marstatt, Head of SWIFT Germany, welcomed the participants and introduced the programme which was framed by the SWIFT 2020 strategy, and combined keynote speeches and panel discussions to address key topics such as the transformation of global transaction banking, the future of payments, standards, fintech and innovation. Christian Kothe, Head of Central & Eastern Europe, announced that Jürgen Marstatt will commence a new role at SWIFT as Head of Consulting and Training in Services & Support, starting on 1 May,. He will hand leadership of the Frankfurt office over to Michael Formann, who started the SWIFT office in Vienna in 2008 and has successfully developed the Central European SWIFT communities with his team. Christian thanked Jürgen for his achievements during his time as Head of the Frankfurt office and wished Michael the best of luck as he continues to drive SWIFT’s high ambitions in the German market.

Germany still in top ranks for global messaging traffic

In his opening speech, Stephan Müller, Chair, NMG SWIFT Germany and CIO, Commerzbank, highlighted the status, trend and vision for SWIFT in view of the global economic climate. While growth have been significantly impacted by China’s decreasing growth rate, the economic situation of the USA has started to normalize, announcing a possible end of the low interest rates period. In Europe, sustainable growth in 2016 is not expected, with Germany forecasted to achieving a growth rate of only 1.3%.

Negative interest rates are posing a major challenge to banking as many systems are unfamiliar with them, so extensive alignments and adjustments must be made. Reporting on the progress in implementing the SWIFT 2020 strategy with its focus on SWIFT’s core and new solutions, Müller said that he appreciated the efforts of the FIN renewal programme, among many other things, and recognised SWIFT’s successfully expanding compliance services portfolio which helps all financial institutions to manage a major challenge.

Müller presented figures showing Germany again ranking third world-wide by FIN traffic received and fourth by FIN traffic sent. In FileAct traffic, Germany was still by far the global leader in 2015 with more than 8,050m messages sent from a total of over 18,200m for the top 20 countries.

Read full report here.