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Digital banking upheaval the focus of Ivey’s new labAdd to ...

The Globe’s biweekly business-school news roundup.

The digital economy is changing how, when and significantly, with whom, customers do their banking in an increasingly online environment.

To that end, Bank of Nova Scotia pledged $3-million over 10 years to the Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario on Thursday to expand its research on digital upheaval in the financial sector, and offer new student internships and field study opportunities. They will also jointly sponsor future conferences and other events on the theme of digital change.

“Our digital transformation is one of the most critical things we are working on, ” says Randy Lyons, senior vice-president of enterprise strategy for Scotiabank, of the impetus to deepen ties with educational institutions, including Ivey. He adds: “Partnering with universities and business schools gives us access to innovative thinking, deep research and a talent pool [of graduates].”

Non-bank competitors, such as startup companies eager to deliver online financial services more efficiently than traditional financial institutions, are potential rivals and partners, says Mr. Lyons, with banks like his looking to tap the latest research and the brightest graduates to help define the future of online banking.

Ivey dean Robert Kennedy said funding for the new Scotiabank Digital Banking Lab announced this week marks a shift in funding focus by the bank, a long-time donor to the school. Instead of contributing to scholarships, as in the past, the bank is developing a more active relationship that includes support for research by Ivey professors already examining the impact of the digital revolution in banking and other sectors.

As well, the bank’s support for internships and other work experience opportunities means that Ivey undergraduates and graduates would have access to bank officials on an issue of strategic importance to them.

“It’s great on the thought leadership side for us, ” says Dr. Kennedy. “But it will also provide a greater set of opportunities for our students.”

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  • HSBC Bank Bermuda Limited, formerly known as The Bank of Bermuda Limited, is a financial services company in Bermuda providing fund administration, trust, custody, asset management and banking services to institutions and individuals. In 2004 the HSBC Group acquired...

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