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A Q&A with Jan Lührs-Behnke – Head of Bank Steering & Finance at Hamburg Commercial Bank


Hamburg Commercial Bank

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Commercial BankingCloud Banking Platform



Specialty Lenders
key points
  • German banks are undergoing a period of rapid transformation, including Hamburg Commercial Bank.

  • Hamburg Commercial Bank is the first lender in Germany to implement nCino’s cloud-based platform.

  • The Bank is already seeing efficiency and quality improvements in the processing of new and existing business thanks to it’s new integrated front-to-end system.

In recent years, German banks have been facing several challenges, including changing customer demands, regulatory changes, and changing socio-economic trends.

As a result, the German banking sector is undergoing a period of rapid transformation, and banks are having to adapt in order to remain competitive and profitable in the future.

The banks that are best equipped to emerge and succeed in an uncertain future are those who are embracing an innovation mind set and embedding flexibility and a positive attitude toward change into their organizational fabric. One bank leading the way is Hamburg Commercial Bank (HCOB).

With representation across Germany’s metropolitan regions and in select markets in Europe, HCOB is a Hamburg-based commercial bank and specialty financier, serving commercial clients and financing projects in the real estate and shipping sector, as well as in the renewable energy and infrastructure industry.

Recently, HCOB became the first lender in Germany to implement nCino’s cloud-based platform. Since going live with the technology, HCOB has able to:

  • Consolidate data

  • Replace multiple disparate legacy systems

  • Create a seamless infrastructure for credit origination and review

Notably, HCOB recently won the “Euromoney Award for Excellence 2022” in the global category“World’s Best Bank Transformation” and boasts some of the best financial metrics in banking in Germany.

nCino spoke to Jan Lührs-Behnke, Head of Bank Steering & Finance at HCOB to discuss how the Bank has transformed itself in a few short years into a profitable commercial bank and how nCino is playing a role in the bank ‘s growth plans.

nCino: HCOB was recognised by Euromoney as the World’s Best Bank Transformation in 2022. Can you talk about the transformation you have been through, and how technology partners have played a role in this achievement?

Jan: Hamburg Commercial Bank has undergone a far-reaching transformation, which was successfully concluded at the end of 2021 when the bank joined the Association of German Banks (Bundesverband deutscher Banken, BdB).

After sharpening our business model, focusing on core activities – which include commercial real estate, shipping, project finance with a focus on infrastructure and renewable energies, and selected corporate banking in Germany and abroad– and optimizing its processes and procedures, HCOB is now one of the most successful banks in Germany. During the three-year transformation we were looking to find the right technology partners, because after all, a bank must be fast, reliable, and efficient in its business and IT functions.

nCino: In that process, what about nCino stood out and informed your decision to select the platform?

Jan: nCino enables us to streamline our business processes – from the initiation of the financing by the sales department, to the check and the decision by the credit risk department, to the implementation and booking of the loan. This will speed up our processes and help us to work efficiently.

nCino: Can you tell us about what nCino features and functionality you’ve implemented and how the platform has been deployed at HCOB?

Jan: In the first release, essential aspects of the process supported by nCino have already been implemented. The bank’s employees are now supported in the nCino workflow from the processing of the transaction in the pipeline, through structuring, to the credit decision. Further features such as archiving, collateral processing or a customer portal may follow in further releases.

nCino: Are there any key results you can share at this time?

Jan: HCOB went live on nCino at the beginning of October 2022 – so we have not yet been able to gather that much experience. However, it is already apparent that the integrated front-to-end system is leading to efficiency and quality improvements in the processing of new and existing business. We are convinced that we will see further progress as users gain more experience – the potential for this is great.

nCino: Looking ahead, HCOB is clearly positioned for growth and profitability despite challenging market conditions. How are you thinking about the future of the bank and your ambitions, and how do you see nCino as a part of that journey?

Jan: HCOB is already one of the best banks in Germany and Europe – measured by its financial ratios. Our goal is to continue to maintain this position – even under the current difficult market conditions, which we naturally keep a close eye on when making our business decisions. nCino’s system helps us to work even more efficiently because we have a streamlined credit process. That leads to more speed and better customer service.