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Opinion

Norway’s biggest bank creates even bigger challenger

DNB set up payments application Vipps just two and half years ago and has seen its in-house disruptor grow so fast that it has now spun it out and let it merge with other fintechs.

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On Tuesday, senior management of DNB, Norway’s largest bank and one of the biggest in the Nordic region, presented to investors in London ambitious plans to lift return on equity from 10.6% for the first nine months of 2017 to 12% in 2019 and to cut an already impressive cost/income ratio of 43.8% down to under 40%.

According to the World Economic Forum, Norway has the best digital infrastructure in the world. Only 6% of payments in the country are made in cash. Mobile personal banking transactions have quadrupled since 2013 at DNB and the bank has cut branch offices from 156 in 2013 to 57 at the start of this year.

This is a management team not short on confidence and well worth listening to about the future of digital banking.

In May 2015, DNB launched a free peer-to-peer payments platform called Vipps. Two and a half years on and 61% of the Norwegian population over the age of 15 use it.

In mid-2016, DNB extended a fee-earning peer-to-business payments application of Vipps.

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