Strategic client focus
Retail and corporate banking is a regional and local business. Clients and shareholders expect relationships based on trust and solidarity with the region from their bank. Client relationships are the most important pillar of our business. Accordingly, in 2012 we refined our segmentation model. This contains, in particular, a market-conforming and cost-optimized delineation between retail and corporate banking and private banking. This intensified market and target client focus will result in improved, customized customer care and service, which will take into consideration clients‘ needs, risk tolerance and development perspectives. Consequently, we shall create the essentials using customer relationship management for a pragmatic alignment of market knowledge and client requirements.
In 2012, the parent bank in Vaduz pushed ahead with its project to build up and expand the individual clients segment. Targeted new recruitments were made to intensify the care of clients in the area between retail and corporate banking. We regard competent client advisors as an important means of distinguishing ourselves from competitors. Our services in the fields of retirement, financial and succession planning, as well as tax advice and corporate and private pension provisioning complement our customer care.
In the east of Switzerland, clients maintain very close ties with Bank Linth. The bank’s branch network serves as its most important distribution channel. Bank Linth’s bank branches in Rapperswil, Altendorf and Pfäffikon were modernized in 2012. Their client advisory zones are designed as open meeting areas for clients and advisors. In addition, in December 2012, a new bank branch in Eschen opened for business (see chapter «»). This is in line with our concept that an important prerequisite of banking business is still based on personal contact. At the same time, we are developing and utilising new, cost-effective banking channels for a growing group of clients having a close affinity for new technology (see chapter «»).
Management of credit risks
We support private individuals, local communities, companies and small firms in financing their future plans. The LLB Group is one of the most important credit providers for regional businesses. On account of the increased pressure on margins and new regulatory provisions, credit risk management has evolved into a major competition factor. The LLB has dealt in depth with this factor on three levels. Firstly, it has imposed stricter standards with respect to the amount of own capital to be deposited, financial eligibility and collateral value limitations in its revised lending policy put into effect from 1 July 2012. Secondly, it has clearly delineated the responsibilities between client advisors, mid-office and credit risk management. Thirdly, it has revised its areas of responsibility for granting loans. From 2013, with the exception of limited amount standard transactions, decisions on the granting of loans will be transferred to Group Credit Management and the Credit Committees, where they can be made without market pressure (see chapter «»). In 2012, the LLB Group took over the new minimum standards for mortgage financing of the Swiss Bankers Association, as approved by the Swiss Financial Market Authority (FINMA), which have been in effect since 1 July 2012.
Customer care centers
Both the LLB and Bank Linth are deeply rooted in their local regions. The introduction of the division-based organizational structure on 1 July 2012 makes it possible for this valuable regional relationship to be safeguarded while at the same time enabling synergy potentials to be systematically exploited. Our service to clients is very important to us. Consequently, following an in-depth analysis, we decided in October 2012 to expand the Bank Linth customer care center in Uznach in April 2013, and to open one for the parent bank in Vaduz in May 2013. In line with this measure, we have amalgamated five organizational units, namely Infoline, Private Clients Support, LLB iBanking, as well as the E-banking and Service Center of Bank Linth in order to provide high-quality, uniform services from one source. This will enable us to enhance efficiency and, with the aid of the latest technology in the customer care centers, we can make every client feel that we have a genuine interest in his requirements.