Global Finance magazine showcases the first-round winners of its 2016 Best Digital Bank Awards. 

Author: Gilly Wright

Finding Strategic Advantage With Digital

The first-round winners of the 17th Global Finance Best Digital Bank Awards reveal the strategic importance that both corporate/institutional and consumer banks place on digital banking.

"Digital is tomorrow’s battleground for banks,” says Herber De Ruijter, head of digital at Intellect iGTB. “Just trying to turn branches into Starbucks-like experiences is simply not cutting it anymore.”

As an industry insider with a background in consumer, commercial and corporate banking, De Ruijter sees “a tremendous amount of movement at banks that want to remain relevant, investing in digital channels as a better answer to cost/income pressure or as a result of regulatory pressure,” but also banks remaining or becoming platforms that bundle third-party services. “Public financial management is an interesting catalyst here: it is the aggregator versus the aggregated.”

With higher expectations from both corporate/institutional and consumer clients, the need to provide a next-generation digital banking experience becomes a strategic necessity.

The first-round winners of Global Finance’s 17th Best Digital Bank Awards showcase the corporate/institutional and consumer banks deploying the best digital banking strategies to meet their clients’ financial needs. Winners were chosen among entries evaluated by a world-class panel of judges at Infosys, a global leader in consulting, technology and outsourcing. Global Finance editors were responsible for the final selection of winners in the first round. Only banks that entered the competition were considered for awards. The overall Regional and Global winners, and Global Subcategory winners, will be revealed on October 18 in London at Global Finance’s Best Digital Bank Awards dinner, follow our Digital Bank Conference at RSA House.

This year, on the corporate/institutional banking side, Citi showed why it is the go-to bank for businesses around the globe by notching up impressive wins on all continents—13 country wins in Latin America; 15 in Western Europe; seven in Central and Eastern Europe; 14 in Asia-Pacific; 20 in Africa and the Middle East; and multiple subcategory wins around the world.

The award for best corporate/institutional digital bank in the US went to Wells Fargo for its responsive redesign initiatives—simplifying routine tasks for corporate customers and changing the digital face of commercial banking, making it a much more “consumer-like” experience.

Other corporate/institutional digital bank standouts include Banamex, named best digital bank in Mexico, as well as SEB, TBC Bank, and mBank in Central and Eastern Europe. In Western Europe, Nordea, Odeabank and BBVA garnered multiple awards. DBS’ strong digital performance in Asia-Pacific earned it a country win in Singapore and two subcategory wins, including Best Website Design. In Africa and the Middle East, Bank Leumi won Best Digital Bank in Israel and a brace of subcategory awards.

In consumer banking, Scotiabank racked up an impressive 23 country wins. Other multiple winners include Banamex, Banco de Chile, Santander Rio and Banco Popular Puerto Rico. Scotiabank, Best Digital Bank in Canada, took five sub-category awards in North America. Standard Chartered received six country wins and three subcategory wins in Asia-Pacific, ahead of impressive showings from both Citi and DBS. Standard Chartered also bagged seven country wins in Africa—a clear sign that its digital focus on Asia and Africa is yielding fruit.

“Ultimately, it is about serving our clients in the way they want to be served,” says Chris de Bruin, global head of retail products and digital at Standard Chartered. “Clients want convenience, security and choice. The only way to serve them effectively is by being digital. If we do it well, that is what will differentiate us.” 

Central and Eastern Europe saw strong showings from Tatra Bank, Bank Millennium and Sberbank. With different banks winning every country award, Western Europe was a triumph of digital diversity. Details will appear in our December issue.


Corporate/Institutional Digital Banks
Consumer Digital Banks

A full report on the awards and our October Digital Banking Conference will be published in the December issue of Global Finance. To attend the conference and find out how the best digital banks are exceeding customer expectations, register for tickets at


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