Baselland-KB takes on neon – too late

Basellandschaftliche Kantonalbank is giving full throttle under its boss John Häfelfinger, an ex-CS manager. She will open a branch in Aargau tomorrow, like that Aargauer Zeitung reported.

The next offensive is already running in the background. It is called “Ethos” and means its own “Digital Primary Bank for private individuals”, as an insider reports.

The aim is digital asset management for the middle class, between the low-cost provider Postfinance and premium banks such as Vontobel and Reyl.

The target audience has an annual income of CHF 100,000 or more and is 30 to 40 years old. Assets to invest: 50,000 to a million.

“Building and safeguarding assets” is the promise of the Baselland bankers with their ethos approach.

The project not only comes late – it also devours huge sums of money. The talk is of a gigantic amount of millions that the Baselland KB (BLKB) wants to spend on it.

Ethos is not just an app for asset management, but more offers should be added over time: Hypo brokerage, further loans, insurance, 3a products.

Chef Häfelfinger noticed that he was facing new competition. Neon, a cheap fintech that cooperates with Hypi Lenzburg, quickly won many customers.

This is thanks to the motto that speed is everything and perfection can wait. The neon product is cheap, works and fulfills its purpose.

It is the Swiss answer to Revolut. The digital banking pioneer is so successful that all banks are looking for answers.

The solution from Baselland is above all expensive. And the train with Neon, Revolut, CSX from Credit Suisse and others has long since left the station.

“One of our strategic pillars, ‘innovation and corporate development’, includes investments in emerging markets across Switzerland,” says a BLKB spokeswoman about the project.

“The target group are digitally savvy customers. We communicated this strategy in June 2017. As part of the strategy implementation, we are therefore constantly examining the possibilities that the digital channels open up for us. “

“We are also in regular contact with external partners in order to receive support and advice in evaluating such possibilities.”

The statement “in emerging markets across Switzerland” makes one sit up and take notice. Häfelfinger’s ethos offensive has the whole country in its sights.

That explains the high costs, which according to an insider should be around 100 million.

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