Latest articles from Retail Banking

Western Union adds a string to its formidable bow

September 5, 2005

One of the world’s largest money transfer networks, Western Union, has launched a bank.Stephen Timewell finds out what the move offers the network in the long term.

From processing silos to hubs

September 5, 2005

Banks stand to lose huge amounts of profit once real-time banking is implemented, but they can soften the blow with global processing, says
John Bertrand.

Building blocks for leadership

August 1, 2005

Vneshtorgbank is using its acquisition of Guta Bank to build up its retail services, planning more branches and aiming for a leading role in the mortgage market. By Brian Caplen.
Russian state-owned Vneshtorgbank is pushing ahead on the retail front, aiming to claim an 8%-10% share of the market by 2010. During that period, total assets are expected to rise from $15bn to $35bn, including a forecast rise in mortgages from $150m to $2bn and in consumer lending from $300m to $3bn.

Growth potential lures banks further east

July 4, 2005

Bank Austria Creditanstalt is no longer a competitor but a subsidiary of UniCredit in central and southern Europe.Stephen Timewell considers the Austrian bank’s retail prospects.

Mortgage movement

July 4, 2005

Mortgages could be the next big thing in Russia if the retail banks and the Kremlin have their way. 

Pricing could be a key in competition

June 6, 2005

The Banker examines reports on the price of basic banking services across the globe and the role of pricing in bank profits.

Central European giant looks to Balkans for new borrowers

June 6, 2005

With central Europe already wrapped up, Erste Bank is having to look for ways to make its mature Czech and Polish markets more productive – and for new clientele, writes Robert Anderson in Prague.
Erste Bank’s dramatic expansion drive from Austria into the rest of the old Hapsburg Empire has now reached maturity. Last year it became the largest financial provider in central Europe in terms of assets, after already leading in terms of customers.

Spanish banking jewel’s flexibility makes it a target

May 2, 2005

Banco Popular’s competitors may be gaining ground but the bank is still an attractive acquisition target. Chairman Angel Ron talks to Karina Robinson about strategies for SME and consumer finance business and why he is betting on staying independent.

The message gets through

April 4, 2005

After a slow start, banks are more optimistic about mobile phone financial services finally taking off, with contactless payment methods such as text messaging now on offer. Wendy Atkins reports from the 3GSM show in Cannes on some recent developments.

Improve productivity to make the most of branch popularity

March 7, 2005

A survey by Booz Allen Hamilton shows that, in much of western Europe, the branch is still customers’ preferred interface with their banks. Ironically, it is often in the regions where the branch is most popular that customers are the most dissatisfied with service. And even more worryingly a second survey by Finalta shows that bank are making poor use of this communication channel. Stephen Timewell digests the data.

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