Latest articles from Retail Banking

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.

Microfinance gains momentum

February 2, 2005

Evidence is accumulating to show that microcredit can be a profitable business for commercial banks. Stephen Timewell reports on progress in the International Year of Microfinance.

Action to keep valuable clients

January 3, 2005

The EU’s attempts to make offshore savers pay tax are forcing banks to devise some innovative strategies to protect this sizeable and lucrative market, reports Michael Imeson.

Hopes pinned on chip-based cards

January 3, 2005

Banks in Europe are turning to chip and PIN payment cards not just to combat fraud but also in the hope that greater security will boost usage and strengthen their relationship with their customers. Stephen Timewell reports.

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