Business development

The Raiffeisen Group has strong local and regional roots in Switzerland and enjoys a high level of trust from its clients. During the year under review, Raiffeisen added several digital solutions to its range, further enhancing its customer proximity.

A strong and popular cooperative

Implementation of the Raiffeisen 2025 strategy commenced during the year under review. Raiffeisen further diversified its business model and added digital solutions to its offerings and services. The physical proximity of 219 Raiffeisen banks with a total of 820 branches and 1,732 ATMs means Raiffeisen remains a reliable partner to its clients. Raiffeisen can be reached by car within ten minutes by over 90% of the population. More than 3.61 million people and over 218,000 companies are clients of Raiffeisen. This is equivalent to over 42% of the Swiss population and one in every three businesses in Switzerland.

Cooperative generates added value

Anyone who subscribes to a share certificate of a Raiffeisen bank becomes one of its co-owners. In 2021, roughly 28,000 people made use of their right to subscribe and became part of the Raiffeisen community. There are now more than 1.96 million cooperative members actively shaping the Raiffeisen bank in their region. This number of owners makes Raiffeisen the largest cooperative bank in Switzerland. Cooperative members enjoy an attractive rate of interest on their share certificates and various benefits. Every year the Raiffeisen Group also gives a considerable sum to municipalities and associations – over CHF 200 million in the year under review – partly through taxes and partly through local sponsorship arrangements.

Attractive member offers

Raiffeisen provides various member benefits to reward customer loyalty and active account relationships. Once again in 2021, the members of local Raiffeisen banks were able to make use of these offers. The museum pass in particular, which grants free entry to over 500 museums in Switzerland, was used more than a million times. Apart from that, in summer and autumn members can enjoy tourist offers in the Canton of Graubünden, with discounts on hotels and reduced prices on cable car tickets. For the winter season, a daily ski pass for thirty or so Swiss skiing areas was launched. It is now possible to order the daily passes online and save them straight to the ski card or SwissPass. In total, Raiffeisen members enjoyed benefits worth CHF 105 million in 2021.

Improving young people's financial skills

For years Raiffeisen has been committed to Money Mix as a way of improving young people’s financial skills and supporting them as they move towards financial independence. In 2021 Raiffeisen expanded this commitment by entering into a partnership with the “Schlaufux” learning platform. Since January 2022 the platform has been known as “evulpo”, supporting school children in maths, German, English and French, plus giving them tips on how to handle money.

Regional and national sponsorship

Thanks to their strong local roots, the Raiffeisen banks are committed to numerous local associations, projects and events involving sport, culture and social matters. At the national level, Raiffeisen has been supporting winter sports as a proud partner of Swiss-Ski since 2005: at top competitive level, helping to develop new talent, winter sports as enjoyed by the general public and by people with impairments.

Local solidarity

Between the launch of lokalhelden.ch some five years ago and the end of 2021, almost CHF 30 million were raised on the crowdfunding platform. Across Switzerland, more than 1,700 charitable cultural, sporting and social projects have become a reality. The largest project in terms of money in 2021 was LIBER, which supports writers and publishing houses in Switzerland; this raised more than CHF 600,000. True to the spirit of the banking group’s cooperative principle, through lokalhelden.ch Raiffeisen takes a local and regional approach to crowdfunding, making an important contribution to a vibrant, athletic, cultural and pro-social Switzerland.

Challenging times demand pragmatic and creative solutions. So in March 2020 Raiffeisen opened up its lokalhelden.ch crowdfunding platform to Swiss SMEs too. Since then, more than 400 businesses have enjoyed support to the extent of over CHF 3.8 million. The numerous success stories showed the exceptional solidarity of Swiss citizens, even in a second difficult year overshadowed by the pandemic.

Developing the offering – focus on the
digital customer experience

As part of the Raiffeisen 2025 strategy, Raiffeisen is investing substantial sums in further expanding its digital channels. By the end of 2025, a customer experience portal that brings together all of Raiffeisen's digital services for the purposes of self-service should be in place. Raiffeisen is aiming to have a beta version of the new application ready for interested private clients by the end of 2022. Functionalities will then be added to the app on an ongoing basis, with a complete, modern e-banking solution available by the end of 2025. In 2021 Raiffeisen launched the SME eServices multibanking platform for corporate clients, the Liiva residential property platform and the digital pillar 3a.

E-banking – the most frequently used interaction channel

E-banking is now the most frequently used interaction channel between clients and their Raiffeisen bank. In total more than 1.65 million users (previous year: 1.54 million) logged into e-banking over 124 million times (previous year: 113 million) in 2021. Some 51% of logins were via the mobile banking app (previous year: 49%). On average, users logged into e-banking five times a month or 75 times a year. Every day the system processed more than 426,000 payments.
Raiffeisen is striving to create a seamless interaction between digital channels and personal contact points. Clients should be able to choose how they want to interact with Raiffeisen. Besides local personal advisory services for clients, Raiffeisen e-banking is the prime channel for quickly and securely establishing contact with Raiffeisen and transacting banking business.
In 2021, all users were gradually migrated from the existing e-banking login to the new Raiffeisen login. The new login further increased security. It also forms the basis for accessing other digital Raiffeisen services, such as Raiffeisen Rio, MemberPlus, the stock exchange application and the newly launched digital pillar 3a.

Raiffeisen Twint with continued success

In November 2021, Twint exceeded the four million users mark. This shows how popular the Swiss digital payment solution is. With more than 900,000 registered users (up 30% on the previous year) and an active use rate of over 70%, Raiffeisen's Twint app also continues to be successful. The standard uses like transferring money between friends and acquaintances, online shopping and making purchases in farm shops are seeing buoyant activity. Jointly with Twint AG, the digital marketplace available via the Twint+ button in the app is constantly being extended with attractive offers. For example, Twint can be used to pay parking charges, donate money, buy or give digital vouchers and order coffee capsules and food for home delivery.

New debit cards with extended functions

Following a successful pilot phase for the new debit cards Visa Debit and Debit Mastercard among Raiffeisen staff, Visa Debit was launched for YoungMember customers at the end of 2021. Since the start of 2022, the new Visa Debit card is being distributed to all Raiffeisen clients. The new Debit Mastercard will follow in spring 2022. They replace the previous VPAY and Maestro debit cards. Along with the tried and tested functionalities, the new cards also have an e-commerce function and so can be used for online shopping.

Pension and investment solutions

The investing and saving for retirement business is a particularly important pillar of the Raiffeisen 2025 strategy. The intention is to strengthen and expand this business. The focus is on customers and their financial needs. Raiffeisen supports them through all stages of life. Processes and solutions are designed to be transparent and easy to understand. That way, Raiffeisen can provide all its customers with easy access to professional pension and investment solutions – both physically and digitally. Raiffeisen expanded this hybrid approach – personal advice with digital solutions – in the year under review.

Holistic and sustainable saving for retirement

The fourth annual Raiffeisen Pension Barometer survey conducted in conjunction with Zurich University of Applied Sciences ZHAW and pollsters LINK in 2021 shows that around one-third of the population is planning on taking early retirement. At the same time, people are expecting to need more money when they retire. These high expectations stand in stark contrast to the continued low level of attention given to personal retirement planning. This inadequate commitment goes hand in hand with a low degree of knowledge about pensions. Raiffeisen has therefore started various initiatives to make it easier to learn about retirement. For example, many customer events were held around the country on "Understanding your pension fund statement".
Raiffeisen advises its customers for the future based on their current situation in life – from their first salary account through to estate planning. In total, customer advisors held 15,000 advisory sessions concerning retirement. This covers pension planning, advice on protection against financial risk in the event of death, disability or old age, inheritance issues and individual provision choices (power of attorney and living will).
Consistent with its reinforced positioning as the leading firm for all issues to do with financial provision, Raiffeisen continues to broaden the expertise of its pension, retirement and inheritance planning specialists across the Group. This is to meet the rising demand for comprehensive advice on pension issues.
Raiffeisen's wide range of pension solutions support far-sighted and sustainable wealth creation. In 2021, the number of pillar 3a accounts increased by over 26,000 to 656,000 (+4.1%). Retirement savings in deposits and linked to securities increased by nearly 4.8% (+CHF 835 million) to reach CHF 18.4 billion. Deposits in vested benefit accounts including fund savings plans reached just under CHF 5.9 billion by the end of the year under review, a decline of around 0.5% (–CHF 31 million). The use of pension products was once again significantly affected by the generally low interest rates in 2021. The number of retirement custody accounts, for example, increased by around 36.6% (pillar 3a) and 25.7% (vested assets).
In autumn 2021 Raiffeisen added a digital pension solution to its saving for retirement range – the digital pillar 3a Because it is integrated in e-banking, no additional registration is needed. In this way, Raiffeisen makes it possible for customers to open a pillar 3a pension account on their own in just a few minutes, and to invest in a suitable retirement fund if desired. They always have a full overview of their financial situation and can manage their pension assets themselves at any time. This offering and its functionality will be refined over the course of 2022.

Growth in customer deposits

Raiffeisen is committed to helping as many Swiss residents as possible with wealth planning. Saving money is very important to Raiffeisen customers, whether it is for their retirement or for investments and purchases such as residential property. In 2021 customer deposits at Raiffeisen grew faster than the market, by a total of 5.9% (+CHF 11.3 billion). As a consequence, Raiffeisen's market share expanded in this area once again.
During the year under review, the number of customer accounts increased by 3.3% to around six million transaction and savings accounts. Traditional savings (savings accounts) increased by 4.3% or roughly CHF 3.2 billion, while growth was even stronger in transaction accounts (personal and current accounts). Here deposit volumes were up by more than CHF 7.9 billion (+9.8%). At the same time, some 169,000 new transaction accounts were opened (+5.7%). Because interest rates remain low and there is little difference between the interest rates on transaction accounts and those on savings accounts, transaction accounts are increasingly being used as a place to park liquidity for prolonged periods.
As other market participants have changed their interest rate policy in the end-customer business, Raiffeisen has seen large and sustained inflows above the average in recent months, even though it has been selectively applying negative interest rates. Raiffeisen Switzerland continues to recommend to the Raiffeisen banks and the branches of Raiffeisen Switzerland that, in the private customer business, they only apply negative interest rates or charge credit balance fees to those looking to deposit large amounts of liquidity or who have substantially increased deposits in the past few months. Raiffeisen Switzerland is still advising the Raiffeisen banks and branches not to apply negative interest rates or charge credit balance fees to long-standing private customers who have not exceeded the net new money threshold of CHF 250,000 in the past 18 months.

Investing becomes the new saving

Due to interest rates remaining low, the importance of investing as an alternative to saving continues to increase among customers. Over 4,000 investment advisors support Raiffeisen customers with advice on prudently and sustainably building up free and tied pension assets. They attach great importance to their customers being able to achieve their long-term financial goals.

Greater emphasis on sustainability in investment solutions

One of the objectives of the Raiffeisen 2025 strategy is to boost sustainability performance. It is 20 years since Raiffeisen launched its first sustainability funds under the Futura label and since then it has steadily expanded its range of sustainable investment and pension solutions. Over time, the existing and new Futura funds, and later the Futura asset management mandate, have become the backbone of the product range. As long ago as 2019, the entire Raiffeisen retirement fund range was made fully sustainable. In 2021 Raiffeisen took another major step towards its strategic objective of systematically and rigorously integrating sustainability aspects into the full range of pension and investment products. With only a few exceptions, the remaining Raiffeisen funds too have been applying the Futura approach since the middle of 2021. Consequently, the Futura funds now account for more than 94% of the total volume of all Raiffeisen funds.

Successful further development in digital asset management

Customers have been able to use the Raiffeisen Rio digital asset management app since autumn 2020. This smartphone app was further enhanced in 2021. Now customers can focus their investments on the Swissness or Futura core portfolios. Raiffeisen Rio also has a new savings plan function for building up assets in the long term. Through Raiffeisen Rio Raiffeisen makes it possible for customers to invest in an asset management mandate from as little as CHF 5,000. The app gives them easy access to the world of investing and to professional investment expertise. Together with the individual selection of focus topics and daily news on financial markets and the portfolio, Raiffeisen Rio offers customers a digital investment experience. Raiffeisen Rio was awarded bronze in the Business Impact category at the Best of Swiss Apps Awards 2020.

Extending advisory and asset management mandates

Shortly before the end of the year, various extensions were implemented in the advisory and asset management mandates in response to the needs of both customers and Raiffeisen banks. The new transaction-based advisory mandate focused on individual stocks is another product in the advisory solutions offering. At the same time, various optimisations were made in the portfolio-related advisory mandate. Advisory mandates are ideal for investors who appreciate consulting with an advisor, but want to make their investment decisions themselves. The advisory mandate allows clients to select their personal investment focus, define the investment objective and benefit from Raiffeisen analyses, market assessments and recommendations.
The reporting was also adapted in line with customer needs and now gives a clearer overview of performance and portfolio composition. Mandate solutions, asset management mandates in particular, were extremely popular once again in 2021. Inflows into asset management mandates reached more than CHF 3.5 billion in 2021. The volume and number of mandates more than doubled. Over 50 new mandates net were being opened every day.
At present, almost one mortgage in five in Switzerland is taken out with one of the more than 200 Raiffeisen banks. As a result, Raiffeisen is very familiar with the challenges faced by existing or aspiring home owners, and also with what they want. Raiffeisen is using this position to develop new solutions for issues to do with housing. The associated expansion to the value chain can be summed up in the term "housing ecosystem".
Personal contact with customers has always been at the heart of the Raiffeisen business model. In future, personal advice will be combined with up-to-date digital solutions. One of the key features of ecosystems is that the value is created by a group of companies. Raiffeisen is counting on its own subsidiaries (Raiffeisen Immo AG), on spin-offs to implement digital services like the new Liiva residential property platform in a quick and agile manner, and on local and national partners. Raiffeisen would like to use this constantly changing network to provide homeowners with long-term, comprehensive, recurring and optimal support – from buying their property to selling it.

For more details of the Liiva residential property platform see the Yearly Report (in German)

Financing: growth in line with the market

Mortgage loans grew by 3.2%, in line with the rest of the market. This took them to CHF 196.4 billion. Due to interest rates remaining low and property prices rising, 2021 again witnessed strong demand for mortgage financing.
Raiffeisen is actively involved in the renewable heating programme of the Federal Office of Energy and has integrated an energy property assessment in its financing advisory services so customers can get an initial evaluation based on energy efficiency classes – much like the cantonal GEAK® energy performance certificate. This forms the basis for working together with property owners to develop long-term renovation strategies and how they are financed. In this context, customer advisors can make good use of the Raiffeisen Modernisation Planner RAImo). This app won two bronze medals at the Best of Swiss Apps Awards 2021, in the Design and Functionality categories.

Switch in benchmark interest rates

For many years Swiss banks used Libor to calculate loan interest. With effect from 1 January 2022, Libor ceased to be the benchmark and was replaced by Saron. Raiffeisen started the switch in good time and acted as a pioneer in the industry. Starting in April 2020, Raiffeisen was the first national Swiss retail bank to offer its customers a Saron mortgage as a transparent and flexible replacement product. Since then, more than 50,000 Saron mortgages worth CHF 27.2 billion have been taken out with Raiffeisen. The existing LiborFlex products were migrated to Saron on 31 December 2021. Not only mortgage loans but also all other product categories are now based on the new benchmark interest rates.

Cooperation with Mobiliar

Distributing insurance products
The first year of the partnership between Raiffeisen and Mobiliar saw the new forms and processes of cooperation set up and take root. More than 95% of Raiffeisen banks and Mobiliar general agencies have already successfully referred business to each other; pleasingly, this includes insurance for corporate clients, which is still a new area for Raiffeisen. The penetration underscores that the partnership is being actively cultivated and its potential being deployed to generate profit.

In August Mobiliar launched its first lump-sum tranche product, the jointly developed Mobiliar One Invest, closing the gap in the range of pension products for private customers.

Liiva residential property platform
Further successes from the cooperation with Mobiliar are already apparent. In summer 2021 Raiffeisen and Mobiliar launched the Liiva residential property platform. This is a self-service platform that seeks to make issues to do with housing simple and straightforward. Tools such as a central listing search, estimated market value and property condition, a modernisation assistant and a digital home folder for managing all the paperwork to do with property help both current and future homeowners make the right decisions. Everything is in one place, on one platform, with a clear overview. The two core modules, Buying and Living, already cover a large part of customers' needs; the Selling module will complete the platform offering shortly.
Protecting leased assets
Companies that finance machinery and equipment using capital goods leasing are also benefitting from the cooperation between Raiffeisen and Mobiliar. The insurer provides suitable insurance solutions for protecting expensive leased assets, which is absolutely necessary. Entrepreneurs were also given an insight into the close cooperation at an event conducted jointly.
Projects for the future
The focus for the future lies on further rooting the partnership and jointly launching innovative services and products. Planned activities in the form of regional events, new offerings and solutions that provide high added value for customers, and jointly building up expertise in current trends such as cyber security will make it possible to realise the potential of the partnership even more fully.

Corporate Clients, Treasury & Markets

Since autumn 2021, all direct customer activities of Raiffeisen Switzerland have been grouped together in the Corporate Clients, Treasury & Markets department. Combining the corporate client business with Treasury & Markets means Raiffeisen can offer corporates access to a broad range of products from a single business unit. Depending on what the customer needs, Raiffeisen can provide both products and total solutions for financing, payments, trading in interest rates, currencies and precious metals, transactions in the money and capital markets and corporate finance services. Corporate clients thus benefit from advice and support from a single source and short decision paths.

Corporate clients

The corporate client business has an important part to play in the long-term income diversification of the Raiffeisen Group. Pleasingly, there was continued growth in this business area in the year under review. In 2021 Raiffeisen gained more than 9,000 new corporate clients, the vast majority of them in the SME segment. Local proximity coupled with national strength, an extensive portfolio of products and the associated advisory expertise also go down well with larger companies: Raiffeisen expanded its market share here too. A total of over 218,000 corporate clients, or more than one-third of all companies in Switzerland, count on Raiffeisen’s skills. Not including Covid-19 loans, the lending volume in the corporate­ client­ business increased by CHF 1.5 billion to CHF 42 billion.

Ongoing support for SMEs during the pandemic

Given the ongoing pandemic, at the start of 2021 Raiffeisen extended the maturities of Covid-19 loans from five years to eight, the maximum permitted under the Loan Guarantees Act. At the same time, the recommended start date for repayments was pushed out by one year to 31 March 2022. Raiffeisen was also an active participant in the various federal and cantonal programmes for cases of hardship at the start of 2021. As a result, an additional CHF 20 million or so of loans were disbursed to customers. Since the start of the pandemic, Raiffeisen’s Covid-19 loan book has shrunk by a total of CHF 500 million due to voluntary repayments and reclaims from the guarantee cooperatives. This is equivalent to a fall of about 25% in the volume of lending since it peaked in summer 2020. As at 31 December 2021, the loans based on all Covid-19 lending programmes broke down as follows:
The Raiffeisen Business Owner Centre (RUZ) also expanded its support offering for SMEs in early 2021. It launched a full-service package including strategy and financing support for the catering and hotel industry, which was hit hard by the pandemic, in the form of the RUZ Company Check. In view of the high demand, the existing offering of free liquidity and succession planning for Raiffeisen customers was continued. The accumulated experience of the RUZ advisors, who are all successful entrepreneurs themselves, provides considerable added value for the SMEs involved.
The successful introduction of the multibanking solution Raiffeisen SME eServices in September 2021 marked the completion of an important sub-project in the Group strategy Raiffeisen 2025. This digital platform lets corporate customers of Raiffeisen bring together all their payments and liquidity management in one place, where it is secure and multibanking-enabled. This saves companies expense, time and effort. The complete solution for multibanking-enabled payments and efficient cash management also provides strong protection against cyber attacks, with payments approved in the protected part of the platform. The dashboard has built-in aids for easy liquidity monitoring, planning and management, and can be configured to suit individual needs.

Pleasing growth in leasing business

One Swiss company in three uses leasing to finance its vehicles or capital goods. The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic demonstrated the benefits of leasing as a financing solution that goes easy on liquidity. The increased relevance of leasing for SMEs was also apparent at Raiffeisen: the growth in the leasing business seen in recent years was successfully maintained in 2021. Portfolio volumes grew by 13% to CHF 661 million. Raiffeisen is one of the four largest providers of capital goods leasing in Switzerland. This has become a major product for corporate clients, thanks to its flexibility in terms of variable instalments, customised repayment profiles and the personal advice from the Raiffeisen banks on site.

Award for SMEs with sustainable business development

Every year since 2017, Raiffeisen has given awards to SMEs from different regions of Switzerland that show courage and foresight in their commitment to economically sustainable business development. Both the planned award ceremonies in 2020 fell victim to the coronavirus pandemic, but in September 2021 the "Golden David", the Raiffeisen entrepreneurship award, was presented to logistics company Krummen Kerzers AG at a fully Covid-compliant ceremony in the Espace Mittelland.

Treasury & Markets

Within Raiffeisen, Treasury & Markets is responsible for raising, managing and transferring liquidity inside the Group and ensuring access to the financial markets; it is the centre of expertise for the whole Group, providing products and services related to financial markets.
As the central control unit, Treasury & Markets ensures access to the capital market, centralised liquidity risk management and sustainable funding, as well as hedging of interest rate and currency risks for the Raiffeisen Group. Treasury & Markets is the service provider for precious metals, foreign exchange, securities and structured products within the cooperative union.
Treasury & Markets supplies the Raiffeisen Group with cash in Swiss francs and foreign currencies from more than 100 countries from its own cash centre. The cash logistics service does not just deliver to Raiffeisen banks, it can also be used by customers for cash home delivery. This service is available via e-banking, allowing customers to order bank notes in Swiss francs or foreign currencies to be delivered safely and conveniently to their home address. The service was in great demand in 2021, despite the restricted opportunities for travel.
The other main tasks of Treasury & Markets include advising Raiffeisen banks on balance sheet structure management and providing support in foreign exchange transactions and with the sale of structured products.

Additional rating from Fitch

In 2021 Raiffeisen was awarded a new Issuer Default Rating by Fitch. The classification as A+ (long-term), F1 (short-term) and a stable outlook make Raiffeisen one of the highest-rated banks in the world. The rating agency’s report explicitly emphasises Raiffeisen’s strong market position, good capitalisation and robust risk profile with a very high quality loan book. Fitch also praises the efforts to diversify the business areas in the Group strategy Raiffeisen 2025.

Raiffeisen hopes that the additional rating from Fitch will lead to optimal funding conditions on the capital market, even more flexible access to institutional investors, a broader investor base and attractive terms when placing bonds and money market securities.

Along with the ratings from Standard & Poor's (A+/A–1) and Moody's (A3/Aa3), this means the Raiffeisen Group is excellently positioned on both the national and international money and capital markets.

Active player in the Swiss capital market

Raiffeisen succeeded in solidifying its position in the Swiss bond market in 2021. Raiffeisen successfully took on the role of lead manager to support several public-sector issuers as well as corporates with their bond issues in Swiss francs. As the joint-lead manager for the Swiss Pfandbriefbank, Raiffeisen placed a substantial share of the issue volume with institutional investors.
Raiffeisen also issued an Additional Tier 1 bond worth CHF 300 million and three bail-in bonds for a total of CHF 500 million in 2021, to strengthen capital and build up additional loss-absorbing funds.

Programme of issuance for money market securities

Raiffeisen successfully launched a programme of issuance for money market securities in 2021. These securities are issued in Swiss francs, euros and sterling, with terms of between two months and one year, and meet the needs of institutional investors.

As part of the implementation of the Group strategy Raiffeisen 2025, in April 2021 Raiffeisen stepped up its efforts to reflect sustainability aspects in all product and investment solutions with a comprehensive new approach to responsible sourcing of gold. This new approach promotes environmental and social compatibility in the supply chain and makes it possible to accurately trace the origin of gold. Partners in the supply chain are selected diligently and subject to regular reviews.
In addition to the refinery that manufactures the Raiffeisen ingots, for all newly produced ingots Raiffeisen discloses to customers the names of the other companies in the supply chain and the source of the gold. The production number allows the sources of every ingot to be traced. Raiffeisen also transparently provides information on which small mines are supported, and in what way. Raiffeisen gold ingots are delivered with a certificate from Raiffeisen and Argor-Heraeus.

In November 2021 Raiffeisen became the first retail bank to launch corresponding exchange-traded funds (ETFs), with the Raiffeisen ETF – Solid Gold Responsibly Sourced & Traceable range. The gold physically lodged for these ETFs meets the same standards that apply to the Raiffeisen ingots and can be withdrawn in physical form if necessary.

This innovative product and the quality of service at Raiffeisen in trading precious metals won awards in the Energy Risk Commodity Rankings 2021, ranking third overall for the first time, and also third for each of gold, silver, platinum and palladium.

Structured products

Demand for structured products remained strong in 2021. The negative interest rates and the performance of the equity markets primarily favoured yield enhancement products. There was both a trend to defensive structures with low coupons and buoyant demand for high-yield structures. Towards the end of the year, the continued rise in equity prices provoked increasing interest in capital protection products too.
As part of the implementation of sustainability aspects in the product range, 2021 saw Raiffeisen launch sustainable structured products. Structured products that bear the Futura label concentrate on companies which achieve economic success fairly and by taking a long-term view. To identify these, sustainability rating agency Inrate systematically analyses companies in terms of environmental, social and governance criteria. The individual criteria are set by Inrate and adjusted regularly to reflect new findings and developments.
Raiffeisen's position as one of the top providers of investment products was further reinforced. Transparency and, in particular, transfer of expertise to end-customers are top priorities at Raiffeisen, which was reflected in the Top Service prize at the Swiss Derivative Awards 2021 for the second year in a row.