Carte blanche to do your job. Even in Risk.

Meet Anna. Born in Ukraine, in love with Brussels. A data expert at the heart of banking: Risk. “We have this mission, and that’s to make risk glamorous again.” Sounds ambitious. Just how we like it. Let’s see if she can convince you.

What is the main purpose of your role?

I am a team lead for data engineering, focusing on implementation of regulatory models. In short, keeping the bank safe for the customers and for ourselves. I work in credits. We develop and use sophisticated data models that help us calculate how much money we can give to someone who needs a loan. And what would be the consequence when that person fails to live up to his or her part of the deal. It’s called the appreciation of the risk.

But we also look at the sanity of our entire customer portfolio. We analyse data from all our customers to see how they are behaving, and what the market is doing. All that intel combined helps us determine how many loans we can give. Which then helps us to keep our business running.

What makes you love working in Risk at ING?

Many things. But the most important one is that I have always been given “carte blanche” to do my job the way I think is most efficient. We have quite a lot of freedom to put in place new things and to make decisions. Of course, there is a lot of regulation around us. But every day you see the fruit of your work. You see how all this machinery works. That’s very rewarding.

Big banks often have a reputation of being boring and covered in dust. That’s not the case with ING. We share this startup spirit. Mostly in how we collaborate. We are keen on moving on with projects, on experimenting with new technologies. Plus, we are not afraid to hire people who have no financial background. In my team, people mostly come from science and tech.

Risk is hot then?

For sure. Risk is not about bordering yourself and being in the safe zone. Risk is about knowing what you’re doing and being aware of the consequences if you take them. Like mountain climbing. You can climb 5,000 metres, as long as you know what the risk is. So yes, I think it’s pretty hot.

What’s also hot about it is that we always get new people on board who bring new brains and new ideas. We are a big and very diverse department, in touch with all aspects of banking. With a lot of different roles and profiles. Some regulatory, some exploring, some more tech-driven.

What about risk and rules?

In our line of business, there are indeed lines not to cross. There is no question about that. Everybody wants to be sure that a bank is not dealing with malicious customers for example. Risk is about being ready to go where you want. And knowing how far you are willing to go.

We have our orange behaviours, built around openness and ownership. It’s not just something that you see on posters. You actually see people do it. For example, we don’t expect management to come in and tell us what to do. If change needs to be, it will come from us. And we’ll help each other out.

How about work and rules?

As far as working is concerned, we are free. We get to work from home half the time. As you see fit. At times you need to be creative and discuss things by the coffee machine. And at times you need to focus and do your thing in your own bubble. And go for a run at lunch time. Everything goes.

We work in production so a lot of what we do is 9 to 5. But that’s how most people live. It still leaves me time for writing, renovating the house and doing voluntary work. If you really want to do something, you always find the time. And my working rhythm allows me to.

Is it true that banks only care about money?

Banks need to make profit and feed the economy. That’s our reason for being. The reflection on how we can be more sustainable is largely driven by regulations. But at the same time there is a more ecological and social awareness than in the past. It’s how society evolves and we set an example.

We have people from pretty much every continent. Everybody brings a spice of its own. And they all can be who they are.I find that very stimulating. It makes things work in a beautiful way. We try to meet each other outside of the office. Getting to know each other better helps us work together better.

Have you experienced growth?

I started out at ING as a modeller five years ago and after a year and a half, I got the opportunity to lead a team. Nobody is trying to take you out of your comfort zone. If you want to be an expert and grow in your domain, perfect. Or jump from project to project doing something different each time, also perfect.

We have a matching tool that helps you discover our jobs and teams. You can add your skills, your ambitions, and it will give you your options within the organisation. It’s kind of a dating tool for people who are looking for a new opportunity. And then there is the possibility to get a taste of it. Because maybe you are interested but you don’t know how it would actually be to do it.

Anna's 3 reasons for joining Risk at ING

  • You don’t need a financial background. Which brings new perspectives to banking
  • You can try new things like in a startup and still be in a stable and well-structured company
  • You get to work in a multicultural environment. Travel without going too far from your home.
Back to top