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Pierre Kanengieser : “I would advise finance / insurance groups to accelerate their digital transformation”

According to Pierre Kanengieser, Head of Finance & Insurance Industry at Facebook France, the only ambition of the social network is to connect the maximum number of people with each other in the world and not to compete with banks and insurance...

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Next-Finance : With the Covid-19 crisis, the banking sector is once again perceived as a sector at risk. Most of the banks listed in Europe had to cut their dividends in order to receive aid from the ECB. What is your point of view regarding the state of the banking sector in these difficult times?

Pierre Kanengieser : First of all, I would like to say that the banking industry was not affected by the Covid 19 crisis as sectors such as tourism or even car manufacturers. Indeed, their services remained operational throughout this crisis. On this subject, I would like to add that the banks have been reactive, whether in terms of information and support for their customers (individuals and companies). They also showed solidarity, as shown by the initiatives carried out by the CIC and Crédit Mutuel (€ 200m in reimbursement of operating losses for its policyholders) and Boursorama (no invoicing for inactivity costs in April 2020).

The insurance sector initially seemed relatively unaffected from this crisis, but since last week (Friday May 22) AXA has been ordered to compensate certain restaurateurs for interruption of their activity in France after losing a lawsuit likely to create a precedent in terms of litigation related to coronavirus. What is your current view on this sector?

As with the banks, the insurance sector has been little affected by the Covid-19 crisis and has also implemented concrete actions for their customers, notably mutuals such as Maif, GMF and Matmut, which have frozen their rates or who have agreed to reimburse part of the auto / motorcycle insurance premiums paid by their policyholders.

What advice would you give to finance / insurance groups to deal with this unprecedented crisis?

Very humbly, I would advise finance / insurance groups to accelerate their digital transformation, while keeping in mind to humanize their customer relationships as much as possible and to support their local community. On this last point, they should take the lead by generating a phenomenon called "positive debt", that is to say, giving without expecting anything in return.

Very humbly, I would advise finance / insurance groups to accelerate their digital transformation, while keeping in mind to humanize their customer relationships as much as possible and to support their local community…
Pierre Kanengieser, Head of Finance & Insurance Industry at Facebook France

Banking players and insurers have always perceived Facebook as a potential competitor with your many users and the huge mass of data at your disposal. Are you a partner or a competitor of the actors of finance? Do you have ambitions in the financial or insurance industry?

Our only ambition is to connect as many people as possible to each other around the world. As such, we are partners of banking players and insurers, whether in terms of customer relationship management, communication or even their recruitment policy.

Facebook was behind a cryptocurrency, Libra. The project now seems to be stopped. Is it totally abandoned?

Libra is part of an association including Facebook. This project is not abandoned and aims to enable more than 1.7 billion unbanked people worldwide to have access to financial services. We are simply waiting for the green light from all the regulators to launch it.

Libra is not abandoned and aims to enable more than 1.7 billion unbanked people worldwide to have access to financial services. We are simply waiting for the green light from all the regulators to launch it…
Pierre Kanengieser, Head of Finance & Insurance Industry at Facebook France

Financial results for Facebook were announced at the end of April, with the observation of a strong increase in users and turnover during containment (total turnover increased by 18% to 17.7 billion dollars , advertising revenue increased 19% to $ 17.4 billion above consensus). Is the current health crisis an opportunity for Facebook? What are Facebook’s main strategic directions in the medium term (We are talking about a project competing with that of Amazon)?

These figures are figures published at the end of March 2020 which do not take into account the impact of confinement during the following weeks. Facebook, like many companies in the world, was negatively impacted by the health crisis, particularly in terms of advertising revenue from the tourism, luxury and automotive sectors. However, this crisis was an opportunity as the boom in the use of our messaging services (whats app, instagram) showed with an audience multiplied by 2. Moreover, we continue to innovate on our different platforms. We have just launched Facebook shop which allows companies to create an online store on Facebook.

RF 4 June

Article also available in : English EN | français FR

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