Hochschule Luzern: Swiss Retail Banks with High Digitization Potential

Hochschule Luzern: Swiss Retail Banks with High Digitization Potential

PR Newswire

LUCERNE, Switzerland, November 15, 2018

LUCERNE, Switzerland, November 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --

Swiss retail banks have a substantial potential to save costs through digitization. Moreover, the seventh annual study of Switzerland's retail banking market analyses the decision criteria for borrowers to take out a mortgage, and provides insights into the corporate governance of Swiss retail banks. 

The retail banks play a central role in the Swiss banking market. Of the total of 253 banks in Switzerland, more than a third are retail banks. The backbone of domestic banking in Switzerland continues to perform well. Nevertheless, the Swiss banks face various challenges: The pressure on margins in the core business of mortgage lending continues to be high, the income streams of the banks are still not very diversified and new regulations are difficult to implement. Moreover, digitization requires substantial investments.

Saving costs through digitization 

In times of further declining interest margins, cost savings are becoming increasingly important for banks. As the study shows, however, the heterogeneity among the banks surveyed is immense, especially in terms of process design and process costs in the mortgage sector. Even banks with the same core banking system have different processes and efficiency values. All analyzed banks showed a large optimization potential. The study shows that the income of banks generated by new mortgages could be increased by on average 3 percent if processes were optimized. Prof. Dr. Andreas Dietrich, author of the study, emphasizes that it is essential for banks to know their processes better, to define them more clearly and to continuously optimize them.

Why mortgage customers choose their bank 

There are various reasons why customers choose a certain bank. When taking out a mortgage, however, it is not only low interest rates that are crucial, but also good quality advice and personal contact with a relationship manager. This is shown by a survey of around 220 customers conducted as part of the Retail Banking Study 2018 (see box) by the Institute of Financial Services Zug IFZ, part of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts.

Extending mortgages online - online mortgage market on the rise 

More and more banks in Switzerland are offering the option of getting a mortgage online. For the vast majority of survey participants, however, this is not an important criterion for their decision. Nevertheless, more than half of those surveyed can imagine taking out a mortgage online. 94 percent of these respondents indicated that a pure online process would be an option, especially for a mortgage extension. Accordingly, the current volume of the online mortgage market in Switzerland of around CHF 4 billion can be expected to increase further.

Board of Directors and Executive Boards of retail banks still male dominated 

The study also analyzed the corporate governance of all major retail banks in Switzerland. The proportion of women on the Board of Directors and the Executive Board remains low (19% and 8% respectively). This is only a small increase compared to previous years. Many banks have set themselves the goal of increasing the share of women on their boards. The average gross compensation of Board of Directors members is CHF 73'000. The compensations for Executive Board members are very heterogenous, ranging between CHF 187'000 and 1.6m.

IFZ Retail Banking Study 2018 

The "IFZ Retail Banking Study 2018" from the Institute of Financial Services Zug IFZ, a part of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, focuses on five topics: The first part of the study deals with digitization in the mortgage process based on an in-depth analysis of mortgage processes together with Swiss banks. The second part analyzes the decision criteria of mortgage customers based on a survey of 220 people. The third part deals with asset and liability management and the adapted disclosure obligations of banks in this area. The fourth part analyzes the key figures of Swiss retail banks and shows, which banks performed best. Finally, the fifth part deals with the corporate governance of Swiss retail banks.

The study is available in German only and can be ordered at ifz@hslu.ch (CHF 290.-)

Further information: www.hslu.ch/retailbanking

Picture is available at AP Images (http://www.apimages.com)

Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts - the university of applied sciences of Central Switzerland 

The Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts is the university of applied sciences of the six Central Swiss cantons and comprises the Lucerne Schools of Engineering and Architecture, Business, Information Technology, Social Work, Art and Design, and Music. More than 6,200 students are working towards bachelors or masters degrees here, while a further 4,400 are in continuing education. The Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts is the largest educational institution in Central Switzerland and employs nearly 1,700 staff. www.hslu.ch

Contact for journalists: 

Lucerne School of Business
Institute of Financial Services Zug IFZ
Prof. Dr. Andreas Dietrich, Head of Institute
Phone: +41-41-757-67-46; E-Mail: andreas.dietrich@hslu

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