Strategic review – main activities in 2018
Launch of new core banking system
The new core banking system was successfully launched in 2018 for all Raiffeisen banks and Raiffeisen Switzerland's six branches and Central Bank department. This move significantly simplified Raiffeisen's IT environment and laid the cornerstone for efficiency gains and future digitalisation projects.
Focus on investment activity
Growth in investment activity has accelerated significantly in recent years. Raiffeisen's strategy for the future is to focus on private clients with small to medium-sized portfolios; thus, Notenstein La Roche Private Bank Ltd was sold. In return, Raiffeisen will be investing substantially in serving private clients with small to medium-sized portfolios in the years to come and is expanding its capabilities in this segment. It is perfectly poised to serve these clients with the excellent client intimacy and advisory capabilities of the local Raiffeisen banks and branches.
Comprehensive solutions for clients
Raiffeisen focuses on providing a comprehensive theme-driven range of products and services with and without the involvement of other service providers. The expansion of home, wealth and entrepreneurship activities is aimed at driving Raiffeisen's continued success in the marketplace. RaiffeisenCasa, the home and real estate portal, offers a complete, seamless service package for residential properties, which now also includes legal counselling and information for home-owners about home energy retrofits. Raiffeisen Immo AG convinces with sound market knowledge and end-to-end advisory services on property purchases and sales.
The opening of the first Raiffeisen Business Owner Centre (RUZ) in the French-speaking part of Switzerland (Yverdon) has expanded the bank's footprint and brought it closer to companies. Raiffeisen's competence as a bank for business owners was strengthened through numerous trade events, its partnership with Swissmem and its awarding of entrepreneurship prizes.
Strengthening the culture of dialogue and innovation at Raiffeisen
RAI Lab, Raiffeisen's internal innovation laboratory, researches future trends, technologies and business models and introduces promising new developments to the Raiffeisen Group. Ideas, experiments and innovations were developed and pursued in various formats, including the second instalment of the two-day Innovation Challenge.
Furthermore, the previous performance review process for Raiffeisen Switzerland employees was replaced by an ongoing performance dialogue. These moves have better positioned Raiffeisen as a cutting-edge employer in Switzerland and substantially enhanced its culture of dialogue.
Goal outlook and planned measures in 2019
2019 is a year of transition for the Raiffeisen Group. Raiffeisen will largely have completed the renewal measures in order to be able to concentrate more on strategic banking issues. The focus is on greater agility, digitalisation of the customer interface and diversification of the earnings mix.
Further expansion of the topics of "Home", "Wealth" and "Entrepreneurship"
As part of our further expansion of the topic "Home", in addition to other activities, we intend to optimise our lending operations in order to pursue additional growth and efficiencies. To extend our "Wealth" footprint outside of developing new investment products, we have begun to launch internal activities for automatic asset management and have trialled Robo Advisory. With regard to our "Entrepreneurship" activities, we plan to expand our integrated client-centric solutions and step up process digitalisation. Strategic product launches and enhancements in this area will continuously broaden the product range. All the while, Raiffeisen Business Owner Centres (RUZ) will remain key network partners for the service portfolio. The ultimate goal of these efforts is to be a one-stop shop for current and future clients.
Specific and comprehensive customer care
In 2018, the advisory approach for private and corporate clients was optimised and aligned even more with client needs. In future, greater technical support for the advisory process will add even more value for clients and advisors. This includes the targeted, needs-driven use of data to ensure a comprehensive advisory experience for clients.
Digital transformation is permanently and significantly changing job profiles. Raiffeisen is therefore making targeted investments in the training and continuous development of its employees. The investments also aim to sharpen Raiffeisen's innovative edge. While the Raiffeisen innovation incubator will continue to provide inspiration, the bank will make greater use of the diversity of its workforce for innovation.
Strengthening sustainability performance
Public awareness of sustainability issues is growing. With its range of sustainable financial products (for instance, investment funds), Raiffeisen plans to seize the opportunities presented by the growing demand for such products while living up to its responsibility to society and the environment. The following are concrete examples of this:
- –Real estate contributes significantly to global warming. Properties will have to undergo energy retrofits and modernisation over the medium term. In lending, closer attention must be paid in future as to whether sustainability aspects must be taken into account due to risk and return considerations.
- –In addition to the banking business, Raiffeisen continues to make substantial contributions to athletic, cultural and social life in Switzerland.