The European Financial Marketing Association (EFMA) Affluent Banking Advisory Council has released its first annual report, summarising the trends and developments identified in the affluent banking sector during 2011.
Some of the key issues that the 2011 report identified included:
- The emergence of the younger, ’emerging affluent’ market as an important area in the sector.
- The increasing focus on customer relationships rather than products.
- The key role of the relationship manager in the affluent sector. Because these are key individuals, incentives and other factors involved in the retention of skilled relationship managers have become important issues.
- Conversely a separate group of banks are moving in a different direction, towards a more remote relationship model, representing an intriguing split in views.
- Customer satisfaction is showing signs of improvement, but attention still needs to be paid to measuring, monitoring and enhancing the customer experience.
- The need for banks to focus on the ‘moments of truth’ – those critical times when the bank has an opportunity to respond quickly and positively to a pressing customer need or time of crisis.
Patrick Desmarès, secretary general of EFMA, said: “The affluent segment remains attractive to banks, despite the downturn, with revenues now likely to start improving, along with customer satisfaction levels. Banks now need to explore the sustainability of some of the costs and models used for the affluent sector. One view we have seen much of this year is that banks will primarily try and reduce the overall cost to service and that the development of direct channels will accelerate. I look forward interest to seeing how this particular debate develops in the coming year.”
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