Maintaining diversity in regional banking: Raiffeisenverband Südtirol implements Financial Advisory Workbench

Approximately 450 Raiffeisenkassen and Raiffeisen Landesbank Südtirol AG advisors will be supported digitally in the future; in both retail and private banking, the advisors will use our Financial Advisory Workbench to analyse and address customer needs on an individual level.

With 1,800 branches, the Raiffeisen banks form the largest banking group in Austria. As a dense network of cooperatives, they are closely linked to the economy and the people they serve in their respective regions. They give farmers, businesses and private individuals the financial freedom to help them shape their environment. Although it is hard to imagine regional ecosystems without them, their existence is under threat; the banks are under pressure to merge, mainly because of high regulatory costs which are sometimes too high for small institutions to bear alone. Indeed, over the past five years, more than a hundred Raiffeisen banks have disappeared from the Austrian market.

Not only from a cooperative point of view: Putting people first

In South Tyrol, where the majority of agriculture is organised co-operatively, the banks decided to act rather than react and first took inspiration from the production of raw materials and food characteristic of the region. Matteo Mario Scampicchio, Professor at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano explains: “Meeting customers’ wishes is crucial because the customer will always be king, both now and in the future.” Lessons learned in the production and sale of fruit, vegetables, dairy products and meat can be applied to investment advice. For the fast-growing Austrian private banking market, zeb recommends “a business model that is strictly geared to customer needs,” which “increasingly favours personal contact via a relationship manager digitally.” The requirements of private banking and retail customers are closely aligned: “Platforms such as Amazon and Facebook dominate the retail sector and have the potential to function as larger digital ecosystems for the financial sector as well.”

Raiffeisenverband Südtirol is introducing our Financial Advisory Workbench to deliver a uniform advisory process that is geared to the needs of customers of all ages and, at the same time, digitises the customer journey according to their wishes. Both Landesbank Südtirol and the 39 Raiffeisen banks are using the hybrid advisory solution in retail and private banking. Around 450 advisors can use it to shorten preparation time for meetings and at the same time gain a more precise picture of a customer’s financial situation and any issues at hand. A user-friendly interface, which makes even the most complex topics understandable, guides customers and Raiffeisen employees through the MiFID II and IDD-compliant conversation. At the same time, the Raiffeisenverband delivers advice digitally. With the investor’s financial situation presented clearly on the screen, customers and bank employees can run through various scenarios together and review the results.

An attractive solution: trilingual and adaptable

The Raiffeisenkassen in South Tyrol can use the consulting solution in German, Italian and English. Their management also favoured the ability to tailor the software to the bank’s individual advisory processes. According to Johanna Cavosi, Raiffeisen Information System Department, the solution offers clear advantages both when analysing a customer’s current financial situation as well as presenting various investment scenarios. Whether investment, pension or insurance consulting, Raiffeisenverband Südtirol has streamlined and standardised processes and does not have to worry about the implementation of EU regulations. As a result, it can now offer a more attractive service to its customers. This is an important step towards ensuring the future of a lively and diverse banking landscape in South Tyrol that is close to its customers.

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