We use cookies on our website to show you content we think is relevant to you, to manage the technical operations of our website, and analyse our traffic to further improve our website. We may share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. By clicking "Accept", you agree to the use of all cookies as described in our Cookie statement or "Do not accept" to only use cookies strictly necessary for the functioning of the site.

Wholesale Banking

ING Germany: our route to the future of agile working

In the summer of 2018, we started moving the entire bank to agile working, because we wanted to become even faster and more efficient. We have already gained our first experiences in this area.

Why do we want to be agile?

Banks – especially in corporate banking – are considered conservative organisations. Hierarchical processes, traditional ways of working, established patterns of thought – this offers little room for innovative ideas and a rapid response. At the same time, digitalisation is rapidly changing not only our society, but also the banking sector. Everything is becoming faster, business are becoming more global, and customers expect products and services to be available around the clock.

That is why we have broken away from the traditional organisational structure and have struck out in a new direction. For us, agility is not an end in itself, but provides the foundations which allow us to develop innovations even faster and work more closely with our customers.

Learning from the best – who are our role models?

Thinking "outside the box" is important if banks are to continue to be successful in the future. When looking for role models, we've talked to companies such as Spotify, Netflix and Google who are already successfully putting agile methods of working into practice. These are not financial service providers, but their core expertise is our goal too: to have as much proximity as possible to the customer and to fulfil their wishes quickly and simply.

What does agile working mean for us?

Agility in practice means, above all, getting involved with new methods and having a new mindset. We have broken away from old structures and formed new, interdisciplinary teams who fulfil their tasks largely independently. This promotes the talents, the professional expertise and the autonomy of our employees. In addition, we focus more on higher-level goals and try to always work in as simple and uncomplicated a way as possible. This also means that ideas can be tried out, adapted and rejected as quickly as possible.

The teams are also consulting our customers more when developing products and services. This ensures that we create real value for the customer and provide a special customer experience.

The following four principles underpin our daily working routine:

What kind of experience do we have with agile working?

We can build on the experience gained by our CEO Nick Jue to move to an agile way of working. Under his leadership, colleagues in the Netherlands have introduced agile working over the last two years. The results are obvious:

  • The bank has become more flexible and more efficient. We've broken down silos and increased productivity.
  • We have been able to significantly increase the speed with which innovations are brought to market.
  • The bank has become more attractive as an employer of employees who take on responsibility and want to design and drive things forward in small teams.

These experiences have helped us in Germany to learn and implement agile working. We try to make the transition process as transparent as possible in order to motivate all employees and managers to engage in new tasks, structures and processes. While we are not yet able to measure the specific impact of the shift to agile working, it is now already clear that the bank will change fundamentally and will continue to change.

Read more about how you can become more agile here (in German)