Private and investment clients
Raiffeisen is an important partner for its private and investment clients, who count on it to provide extensive advice and assistance in financial matters. These Raiffeisen clients benefit not only from Switzerland's densest branch network, but also from increasingly differentiated digital channels. Raiffeisen broadened its range of digital services in 2017 by adding Raiffeisen Piazza, a local information app; Raiffeisen TWINT, a digital wallet; and the personal financial assistant in e-banking.
The RaiffeisenCasa internet platform was expanded in the current year. It brings together Raiffeisen's expertise on home issues and supplies tips and insights to sellers, buyers and potential residents. In making these moves, Raiffeisen has positioned itself as Switzerland's first all-inclusive partner for all things home-related. Furthermore, Raiffeisen entered the real estate marketing business in 2017 with a pilot operation in the Northwestern Switzerland and Bernese Oberland regions, offering clients sound knowledge of the market and comprehensive advisory services for the purchase and sale of private residential properties.
Raiffeisen is well-trusted in the investment business, too. In 2017, the volume of securities from retail business increased around 13%, in large part due to net new money inflows. To provide the best advice possible to clients with investment needs, in the current year Raiffeisen expanded its range of services, intensified its cooperation with Notenstein La Roche Private Bank Ltd and introduced regional share baskets that enable clients to invest in local companies.
Roughly 50% of the Swiss population is over 50 years old. The importance of advice and assistance in the third phase of life is growing and is reflected in the high demand. Raiffeisen Switzerland and the Pro Senectute Switzerland foundation entered into a multi-year partnership aimed at effectively supporting people aged 55 and up on issues such as pension planning, senior living and estate planning.
Every year, Raiffeisen rewards members for their loyalty with membership benefits: in 2017, the 1.9 million members used membership benefits over 1 million times, including the museum pass accepted by over 500 museums, one-day ski passes and event tickets with discounts of up to 50%. The "Ticino 2017" membership programme in particular was immensely popular.
Raiffeisen invested in strengthening market perceptions of its capabilities in 2017 by launching the first issue of SAVOIR FAIRE in April. This business magazine, combined with a new online platform, offers insights and corporate success stories. Furthermore, Raiffeisen highlighted its status as a local, trustworthy bank for entrepreneurs and companies by handing out its first-ever Eastern Switzerland Prize for Entrepreneurship.
The Raiffeisen Business Owner Centre (RUZ) evolved into a central element of Raiffeisen's corporate client strategy in 2017, prompting a decision to open additional centres in Western Switzerland (2018) and the Espace Mittelland (2019) region. The RUZ was put under the new leadership of Dr Matthias Weibel and was strategically aligned with a skills-based model. The Raiffeisen network with the Raiffeisen Business Owner Centre, Business Broker AG and Vorsorge Partner AG offers entrepreneurs and companies a first port of call for any questions that may come up in a company's development cycle.
Digitisation is closely linked to higher process efficiency, especially among corporate clients. To bring these benefits to clients, Raiffeisen and Abacus have provided direct interfacing between the client's accounting software (AbaNinja) and Raiffeisen's e-banking system since early 2017. Raiffeisen also invested in product development, expanded its foreign guarantee and export financing services, launched RAIlease, a leasing portal for capital goods, and is prepared for the new payments standards. More supplementary products and solutions for corporate clients will be launched in 2018.
The volume of investment financing (excluding mortgages, leasing and current accounts) extended to Swiss-domiciled corporate clients went up yet again in 2017 (+3.3%). Growth was spread across companies of all sizes, from the self-employed to small, medium-sized and large companies, to major Swiss multinationals.