News & Events

Cosmopolis Lunch Seminar with Maelys Waiengnier (VUB)

24 January 2019 , Geography Dept. - Room F 4.66- (VUB - Pleinlaan 2, BE-1050 Brussels, Building F) from 12.00h to 13.30h

The banking sector in Belgium 10 years after the crisis: an entry through labour geography

As elsewhere, the Belgian banking sector has been subject to change since the 2008 financial crisis. The financial crisis has modified financial institutions’s working and challenged the existing economic paradigms. Digital economies have become omnipresent affecting all actors of the financial sphere. The Belgian banking sector, of which half is located in Brussels, has decreased by about 10 000 employees between 2008 and 2014. Since 2008, Brussels banking sector’s weight in the Belgian economy decreased as well. These dynamics push to interrogate how the structure of the banking sector is being transformed. The underlying assumption is that digitalisation processes unevenly impact the different segments of banking activities. Certain activities become obsolete, are being removed or outsourced, other new activities are being developed, which results in a transformation of the working practices, their geography and of the relation between bank and client. This presentation will examine the role of digitalisation on the transformation of the banking industry and discuss the current challenges undergone by the sector as consequence of the 2008 crisis.

Speaker Bio

Maëlys Waiengnier is a PhD researcher working jointly at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Cosmopolis) and Université Libre de Bruxelles (IGEAT). In her PhD research, she investigates the restructuration of the banking sector in Brussels. She is particularly interested in the transformations of labour geographies related to digitalisation. Her main research project is 'ServiceBrussels', financed by Innoviris http://www.cosmopolis.be/research/servicebrussels. The research focuses on the shifting geographies of advanced business services in Brussels, discussing urban clusters and the interlinkages between advanced business services.