Banks, wake up!
You are in trouble. Crisis. Whether you caused it or it’s something that merely “happened” to you, doesn´t matter to me.
More interesting is the question whether you want to be part of the problem or a part of the solution. I´m assuming you’d take the second option, so here’s a practical solution.
What you can do today it to make money flow again. Because that’s the weird thing. The Netherlands, for example, has enough money and is the second richest EU country. But there is a case of “traffic jamming”, e.g. credit crunch. While Brussels is busy creating extra roads and asphalt in the form of complicated financial arrangements and emergency funds, we can look at some practical solutions we can take today.
I´m thinking about smart usage of the internet and social media.
I´m thinking in particular about crowd funding. Dearest Banks, in the Netherlands too there are several websites that facilitate crowd funding and these are certified by the Autoriteit Financiele Markten (the Dutch financial authority). I´m sure you know these websites, so I`m not going to mention them here. I´m sure you view these as the competition but suppose you include these services in your packages? You could refer to them on your websites. You could recommend them to customers. You could even buy one of these websites and directly create a place for your company in this ‘new world’. Use crowd funding in your service to your customers.
I would see this as a great step on your part. You would prove yourselves useful to society, the citizen and business. Of course this would end the emotional monopoly you have on your customers who think that loans only come from banks. People can also just borrow money from each other. A ‘moneyskype’ as it were. This has been possible for a very long time. People had just forgotten for a while, thanks to your marketing efforts. In the world of social media they are about to rediscover it and I predict that you’ll have a problem then, my dearest banks. But, if you act now you can still keep the initiative.
To be concrete? You could create attention for Crowdfunding and P2P banking in your marketing strategies, on your websites and in your customer contacts. If you don´t want to give a loan, tell your customer about the alternative possibilities. Act, with or without a commission, as a matchmaker for the P2P world. Connect your wealth and your professional reputation to estimate financial risks with crowdfunding. Create and implement Schumpeters ‘Neue Kombinationen’.
Actually you would do exactly the same as we’ve seen in Belgium in November 2011: make a direct link between the citizen and the state. That could also happen between citizen and citizen or between citizen and company. And it would be possible in the financial world. And you are the ones who can accelerate and facilitate this! You could start building the metaphorical extra asphalt and roads directly and open them up in this wealthy country where the money is currently flowing at slightly too slow a pace. You would be doing us a great service and it would give the Netherlands as an innovative e-country an enormous impulse. Who’s first?