An Executive Interview with George Stein, Head of Global Transaction Banking, UK, UniCredit
In this edition, Helen Sanders, Editor, talks to George Stein, who joined UniCredit in 2015 to head up the bank’s global transaction banking activities and pioneer innovation in its growing UK branch.
Your appointment as Head of Global Transaction Banking in the UK was a new role for UniCredit. Why was the role created?
UniCredit has a major strategic emphasis on global transaction banking, which includes leveraging our foreign branches to build out trade finance business and meet the international needs and aspirations of our customers. In London, for example, although transaction banking has been an important aspect of our service delivery for many years, we are making a major investment in skills and solutions to build capacity and expand the breadth of our services. On a personal level, having worked most recently in the financial technology space following my previous banking roles, the opportunity to shape the business at such a crucial time was very attractive given the exciting changes that are taking place in the bank and in the wider market.
As you expand your foreign branches, is your client profile also evolving?
Absolutely. In addition to delivering additional value to our home market customers as they pursue their international growth strategies, we are also building partnerships with banks and other customers that are seeking to leverage our solutions, expertise and depth of presence in our home markets of Germany, Austria and Italy, and in Central & Eastern Europe (CEE). In the UK, for example, we are expanding our proposition in both cash management and trade finance. We have a large and growing number of correspondent banking relationships. And, while some banks have reviewed their portfolio and network and altered their strategy by exiting or reducing their activities in some markets, we have reinforced our commitment to our network, which is very important to both new and longstanding customers.