In 1972, the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) began buying works of art from living artists of the Belgian art scene. The NBB has always been assisted in this policy by external advisors – curators, art critics, … - who have helped to translate the original purchasing decision into a collection in the full sense of the word, comprising about 2,000 pieces today. The large majority of the works hang in the NBB’s offices and meeting rooms. In line with this internal objective, the curators have made important internal communication efforts around the collection, through the staff magazine, intranet, artist talks, … They have also commissioned many site-specific works. The art collection of the NBB has never been considered a financial investment (the works may not be sold), but rather an expression of the institution’s corporate social responsibility. This is one of the reasons why the NBB in 2019 organised the first exhibition of part of its art collection (together with works from the collection of the Deutsche Bundesbank), as a first step towards a regular presentation to the public.
In today’s environment, corporate art collections are seen as complementing museums. Both types of institutions manage cultural heritage and contemporary creation. Corporations are increasingly aware of their contribution and responsibility to, as well as
reliance upon society, in terms of sustainability, corporate citizenship, customers and stakeholders engagement. This is driving the opening up of collections to a wider public. Drawing on deep experience at the European Investment Bank and as Board Member of
IACCCA, Delphine Munro provides a broad perspective on the rationale for sharing a corporate collection.
Arts and banking often seem worlds apart. ING, however, has been a passionate supporter of the arts for a long time. Art is an inextricable part of ING and is strongly embedded in ING’s identity: innovative, enterprising and modern, with a focus on progress and sustainability.
The Belfius Art Collection includes some 4,300 objects of Belgian art within three sections: Flemish masters of the 16th and 17th centuries, Modern art from 1860 to 1960, and contemporary art from 1960 through to the present day. Every year, a new selection of some 60 works of the collection are presented in the Belfius Art Gallery in a thematic exhibition. Belfius’ support to Belgian art is also expressed by the loans of works from the art collection to Belgian museums, as well as through the purchase of works by young Belgian talents.
What will our world look like in 10 to 15 years from now, and what will the role of insurance companies be in 2030? While we are all very curious about the answers to those questions, we have to admit it is impossible to predict the future. In a rapidly changing and ever more complex world full of uncertainties, it already is quite a challenge to develop a three-year strategy. Therefore, Ageas and AG Insurance decided to bring together high potentials from around the world to develop scenarios for our business in 2030. In this article, we share some highlights and conclusions from the 2030 team. Some reflections on the future… but without giving you any certainty about the outcome!
How do you remain relevant as a player in the payment market, in a rapidly changing payment world? Bancontact Payconiq Company has known the answer for decades: optimal positioning and constant innovation. Even at its foundation in 1978, the company pioneered electronic payments in our country. Today, the company is still innovating, as Bancontact Payconiq Company.
The new company wants to be the driving force behind the adoption of mobile payments on the Belgian market. In this respect, the company launched its new Payconiq by Bancontact app at the start of 2019. This app enables all Belgians to pay online and offline with one single application, to settle invoices on the go and to directly pay another smartphone user even at distance.
According to the company, cash will not disappear overnight, but the number of cash payments is likely to decrease. After all, the Major Payment Survey 2019 revealed that Belgians prefer to pay with their bank card or their mobile phone. Moreover, cash has a substantial social cost. Mobile payments are on the rise: in 2018, 34 million mobile payments were made with the mobile apps of the Company, twice as many as in 2017.
What does the future hold? Many trends are constantly and rapidly changing the status quo in the payment landscape. Consumer expectations are changing, we have seen many technological innovations in recent years, and new players have entered the market. Bancontact Payconiq Company mainly sees instant payment as a game-changer.
Several traditional local schemes have lost vast, sometimes life-threatening payment volumes. Currently, however, local schemes are emerging again, as alternatives to international card schemes, as are many mobile schemes. At the same time, ‘old’ local schemes such as Bancontact Payconiq Company evolve with their time, because they are still invested in and offer mobile solutions. They all want sovereign, independent systems they can control, to ensure a robust local economy. More importantly, they all enter the real battlefield: mobile.
This paper provides insight into what the European Union or Euro Area policy could look like if it were more directly inspired by Keynes’s views. It starts from the disappointing results of the EU-EA as far as employment, inequalities or environment are concerned. It also addresses the role of rules and sanctions vs discretion in the decision process, showing that budget rules have often been violated and the corresponding sanctions have never been applied. It suggests that at least 6 policy objectives - employment, price stability, economic growth, trade equilibrium, inequalities and environment - should receive equal priority. Ultimately, it advocates policies that could trigger public investments and create a real solidarity mechanism at the EA level. Drawing on Keynes’s The long run is a misleading guide for current affairs. In the long run, we are all dead, 27 years after the Maastricht Treaty, the paper claims that the long term, ... it’s now.
The topic of ethical implications of the exploding applications of big data, machine learning and genuine AI has quickly captured the attention of industry practitioners, public observers like journalists, politicians and definitely conference organisers over the past year. It is a vast topic in its own right, deserving all the multidisciplinary attention it gets. In this short commentary, I will limit myself to reviewing some salient features of bias in the context of models used in the financial industry, and, more importantly for the practitioner, suggest some process and governance measures that boards and senior management of financial services companies can take to identify, monitor and mitigate this risk exposure.
On May 7th, 2019, the Belgian Financial Forum organised a presentation by Geert Noels, CEO and Chief Economist of Econopolis, entitled ‘SOS capitalism.’ The presentation consists of two parts. In the first part, Geert Noels discusses recent events with a major financial and economic impact, events that are partly the result of capitalism and which may further promote capitalism. In the second part he elaborates on his book "Gigantism": How did gigantism arise? What are the consequences? And how can we solve this?