Strategic outlook for 2017

Raiffeisen will continue to pursue its strategic objectives in 2017. This year will be dominated by the introduction of a new core banking system at the Raiffeisen banks and at Raiffeisen Switzerland. The migration to the new system forms the basis for taking advantage of the opportunities presented by digitisation.

Bricks-and-mortar sales channels remain vital for Raiffeisen. It operates Switzerland's densest branch network. However, digitisation is beginning to affect the structure of the sales network and will lead to a reduction in the number of bank branches over the medium term. The Executive Board and the Board of Directors of Raiffeisen Switzerland will continue to discuss the business model of the future and possible action to achieve the bank's long-term business objectives.

The development and optimisation of the Raiffeisen network will be vigorously pursued in 2017 as well. Notenstein La Roche Private Bank is set to grow further and reduce costs at the same time. It will upgrade its entire IT platform in the third quarter of 2017, taking a large step toward automation and digitisation. Then, in 2018, Notenstein La Roche will assume responsibility for managing all of Raiffeisen's asset management mandates. In addition, possible acquisitions and growth opportunities for Notenstein La Roche Private Bank Ltd are being examined on an ongoing basis. Another of the Raiffeisen Group's declared goals is to strengthen the corporate clients business. In this context, Raiffeisen plans to add products tailored for corporate clients to its product and service range and to expand its commitment towards entrepreneurs in Switzerland.

Raiffeisen's basic strategy was revised in a Group-wide process and implemented in its organisational structure in 2015. Next, other key documents will be revised such as the vision, mission statement and Articles of Association. Raiffeisen will keep its cooperative structure now and in future.

The agenda for 2017 consists of not only strategic projects but regulatory ones as well. They include satisfying all the requirements that come from being classified as a systemically important bank by the Swiss National Bank or complying with the requirements for risk data aggregation and reporting imposed by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. Furthermore, Raiffeisen is driving investor protection through revisions to data protection and the implementation of the Federal Financial Services Act (FFSA), the Financial Market Infrastructure Act (FMIA) and the Financial Institutions Act (FinIA).

Both the strategic and regulatory projects will continue to tie up significant resources, but this must be done if Raiffeisen intends to successfully overcome future challenges.