Latest articles from Retail Banking

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.

Keeping customers at close range

December 1, 2004

Not many people know but Rabobank is Europe’s biggest internet bank. Micheal Imeson explains how the Dutch bank is building on this, while striving to maintain its dominance in other sectors.
A small, unpaid army is at work in the Netherlands. A band of 40-50 men and women – all Rabobank pensioners – are targeting old people’s homes throughout the country. Their mission: to recruit as many elderly people as possible to the bank’s internet service. Their tactics: to be invited to care homes to teach residents en masse how to use computers, surf the web and make the most of internet banking.

Italy’s retail sector gets a much-needed shake-up

November 4, 2004

Massimo Arrighetti, head of retail at Italy’s Banca Intesa, talks to Stephen Timewell about the earthquake in his bank’s retail sector that has led not only to a radical rethink, but also to a step change in processes.
When Banco Ambrosiano Veneto, Cariplo and Banca Commerciale Italiana joined forces in late 2002 to form the largest bank in Italy, Banca Intesa, they also formed a bank with a staggering 1,500 different retail products.

How debit cards can make money

October 4, 2004

Maestro UK’s Roger Alexander explains to Stephen Timewell how, as e-commerce develops, banks can reposition themselves as authenticators via debit cards, and charge customers for the service.

Lacklustre service in the branches

September 2, 2004

Retail banks are realising that effective customer service centres are a business generation tool that they cannot do without. Yet a recent survey finds service quality has improved little, says Remus Brett.

Whatever happened to joined-up banking?

September 2, 2004

Retail banks promised their customers multi-channel access to their accounts many years ago, so why has this not progressed beyond the preserve of the wealthy? Angus Hislop reports.

Self reinvention proves to be a profitable move for MCB

August 2, 2004

In the wake of banking sector liberalisation in the 1990s, Alain Law Min, head of retail at MCB, tells Parveen Bansal how and why the bank has restructured and how it has improved its business. Established in 1838, Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB) is one of the oldest banks in the region. The bank’s performance has been driven by strong growth in the economy, which, once highly dependent on sugar, is now well diversified.

Banking goes real-time

July 2, 2004

Packaged solutions are making headway as the best approach to replacing legacy core-banking infrastructure, but organisations should look to current trends when planning their system migrations. By Peter Middleton, VP financial services, Oracle EMEA, and Andre Loustau, CTO, Temenos

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