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Banks missing prime opportunities

Nov 27
Tags: Bain & Company
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Banks missing prime opportunities

One of the biggest challenges facing management consultants in the future will be getting banks to seize opportunities as they arise.

Research from Bain & Company shows despite the fact new customers are hard to come by, many banks are missing chances to deepen their existing relationships and are ceding new product sales to competitors.

The 2013 Customer Loyalty in Banking Report showed growing trends among consumers and highlighted how banks are failing to keep up with the changing market.

Gerard du Toit, a partner in Bain’s Global Financial Services Practice in Boston and lead author of the report, said: "The ‘easy growth’ is over for banks, as increased competition worldwide is forcing banks to fight over too few new customers.

"But there is a surprisingly large upside with existing customers to increase win rates on new product sales."

So how banks become more competitive? Bain claims firms must move towards the model of "loyalty plus five capabilities" to encourage existing customers to purchase more, attract more consumers and reduce costs.

To do this, banks need to define where they have to win and where they are willing to lose. Bain stresses that "banks that cater to the average, cater to no one".

Products also need to be designed to 'pop', keeping pace with the things that customers value.

Furthermore, embracing and accelerating the digital transformation is important. While mobile banking adoption varies between clients, it is becoming more widespread. What's more, it has been shown that frequent mobile banking users are considerably more loyal than non-users.

Achieving loyalty is key for banks and Bain claims "loyalty gives you the right to win more business". However, it stresses banks need to ask for the sale.

Creating a trustworthy brand will also drive loyalty. This is achieved by explaining what a bank offers, not what it hopes to be.

There is certainly scope for growth for savvy banks, with roughly half of banking customers in developed countries and 84 per cent in the developing world purchasing a new bank product over the past year.

Of these, around one-third bought products from a bank other than their primary institution.

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