Thomas A. Müller
Chairman of the Board of Directors Raiffeisen Switzerland
Thomas A. Müller
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Chairman of the Executive Board
2021 will go down in history as the second year of the coronavirus: lockdowns, measures and restrictions on our private lives – a challenge for us all. Some people may also remember 2021 as a year in which our focus was redirected to the fact that people need each other. Values such as liberality, democracy and solidarity are not just ends in themselves. We aspire to incorporate them in our daily lives. And we remembered to do so, even in the difficult times that 2021 brought for the Group. The pleasing results of the Raiffeisen banks and Raiffeisen Switzerland in 2021 once again demonstrated that our cooperative creates lasting added value – for all. In line with our long-standing maxim: we open up new horizons.
New horizons for the cooperative In 2020, following an extensive and participative process, the Raiffeisen Group approved the “Raiffeisen 2025” strategy. 2021 saw the start of its implementation. And the first successes can already be seen: we have continued to develop digitally, further diversified our business model and proved to be a reliable partner to our clients thanks to our physical proximity with 820 branches. Together, we are moving away from being a provider of products towards becoming a provider of solutions. The great trust placed in us as a banking group shows we are on the right track. In 2021 Raiffeisen gained more than 53,000 new clients and 28,000 new cooperative members. The unplanned change at the helm of the Board of Directors created quite a stir. But the sustained trust placed in our cooperative bank shows that the Group is more than its individual representatives and officers.
We have continued to develop digitally and further diversified our business model.
New horizons for the digital future The future does not wait. That is why we are actively helping to shape it. Digitalisation is not just a challenge, it is also a promise. Anyone offering solutions will continue to be in demand in future. We expanded our digital offerings and solutions during the year under review: The Liiva residential property platform was added to the housing ecosystem. Raiffeisen also offers a modernisation planner, an analysis tool to calculate the potential investment needed for planned renovations, including the subsidies available and possible tax and energy savings. In 2021, we launched a digital Pillar 3a in the investing and saving for retirement business, and for companies we now have the Raiffeisen SME eServices solution for multibanking. This platform allows corporate clients to see all their accounts and cash movements at a click. These solutions reflect our ambition to shift our technical expertise and physical customer proximity into the digital world.
New horizons for more sustainability Right now we are laying the foundations for a world that remains a place worth living in for future generations. Sustainability is a central objective of the Raiffeisen 2025 strategy. In 2021 we launched Switzerland’s first sustainable exchange-traded gold fund. Moreover, 94% of our fund volume is invested in sustainable funds. Our focus is on stability and quality, not just volume-driven growth. Once again in 2021, our cooperative members benefited from special member offers, among other things, and an attractive rate of interest on their share certificates. 94% of profit was retained in 2021. Most of the amount was added to the reserves to strengthen the capital base. This makes us an exceptionally safe bank. Social, economic and ecological sustainability – that is the path we take as a cooperative banking group.
Our focus is on stability and quality, not just volume-driven growth.
Heading for success together The Group’s annual result shows that the diversification of our business model is making good progress. Raiffeisen recorded an excellent performance in 2021 and achieved a profit of CHF 1.07 billion. The Group made strong gains in the customer business in particular and significantly expanded its market share in customer deposits. This was due to our proximity to customers and the tireless dedication of our staff. Net income from interest operations grew despite the difficult situation as regards margins. The performance of the investing and saving for retirement business was also very pleasing. Raiffeisen again saw substantial growth in asset management mandates and collective investments. In mortgage loans, we grew in line with our ambition at market level. Such a pleasing result strengthens the Raiffeisen Group as an independent force in banking, the third-largest in Switzerland.
New horizons keep opening up We want to keep up these successes in 2022. But financial success is only one side of the medal. The other side is the great responsibility we bear as the third-largest bank in Switzerland: the responsibility for enabling and encouraging business activities that are sustainable and benefit our society. We accept this responsibility. We would like to thank you for the trust you have placed in us and look forward to continuing to support you in future.