Two years ago my family and I moved back to New Zealand. There were many things that drew us back. A job at BNZ was a signifcant attraction, but it was also the chance to be closer to friends and family, give our kids a Kiwi upbringing and once again enjoy everything New Zealand has to offer. Coming home was a no brainer.
Stepping up for COVID and customers
Of course Covid has thrown a spanner in the works, but I feel fortunate to have seen the way our country, our businesses and BNZ have responded to the challenges we face.
At BNZ, I’ve seen our people step up for our customers and each other, and it hasn’t just been because of the pandemic. There has been real positive change in the way we serve customers, support each other and the values we live by. It fills me with confidence as I take up the role of Chief Executive of BNZ.
Looking back to move forward
I am excited to lead BNZ at a time when our bank has an important role to accelerate positive change for our customers, colleagues and communities.
In preparing for the CEO role – as much as you ever can – I have reflected on what it means to lead BNZ. For me, in many ways, it comes down to stewardship or kaitiaki, nuturing the things that are important to us and caring for them with a long term view to hand it over to the next generation in good shape. With this in mind, I am eager to get started and fortunate that we are already well-positioned.
We have a clear purpose: To serve customers well and help our communities prosper. It focuses us on what is important and sharpens our efforts to make a real difference.
At BNZ our customers come first. Sure, everyone says that, but what does it mean? For us it means being a modern, world-class bank, providing high quality and efficient banking services that are accessible and shaped by the people who bank with us.
It means providing digital services that are easy and simple. We already have a fantastic online banking experience, but I want to make it more powerful and faster for customers.
For our business customers it means being the best business bank – backing our experienced bankers with data, insight, products and services that anticipate our customers’ needs and help take Kiwi businesses to the world.
It also means being there for our customers when things go wrong. Life is unpredictable and we need to be the bank that is flexible and understanding, and can help people through their most vulnerable moments.
Finally, it means retaining our sense of place and relationships with the people and communities we serve. Even as customer demand drives us to reshape how we deliver banking services, we know there is a desire for expert advice and personal support that can only be delivered through our customer centres and our people.
Supporting our people
To do this, we need to be true to ourselves and support each other – living our values, focused on wellbeing, inclusion and giving our people opportunities to grow and succeed.
Quite simply, our 5,000 BNZ colleagues hold the keys to the success of this organisation and the customers and communities we serve. We must continue to be a great place to work with a supportive and diverse culture that can reflect, innovate and meet the demands of our ever changing nation.
Making a difference
We will help our communities prosper by being a strong, stable and successful bank. How we turn up and who we bank and partner with can contribute positively to a more sustainable New Zealand.
As we thrive so too will others and we will use our scale to make a difference, supporting environmental, community and iwi initiatives that increase wellbeing in New Zealand and help create a more prosperous future for our people and country.
Doing things differently
I have bold ambitions for BNZ and believe the uncertainty and constraints brought about by Covid will help ignite new ways of doing things. It has already changed the way we work and digital adoption has brought us closer to each other and the world. I want to harness that innovation and connection and unleash it for good.
But first, I want to listen. Our strategy is clear and we are on the right path, but in order to have the greatest impact I want to understand the perspectives and motivations of everyone around me.
I am speaking to our people, to our customers and our stakeholders to understand their expectations and experiences of BNZ, and in doing so I believe it will help us be an organisation of which New Zealand can be proud.
Today is day one. I’m excited and up for the challenge.
Any views expressed in this article are the personal views of Dan Huggins and do not necessarily represent the views of BNZ, or its related entities. This article is solely for information purposes and is not intended to be financial advice. If you need help, please contact BNZ or your financial adviser. Neither BNZ nor any person involved in this article accepts any liability for any direct or indirect loss or damage arising out of the use of, or reliance on, all or any part of the content.