The improvement in the economic outlook has led to a gradual increase in movement at the branches, which lost substantial business during the hardest years of the crisis. One of the symptoms of this recovery is the volume of signed mortgages, which grew by around 21% in 2015. Property financing is not one of the main goals of Bankinter, but it gives a lot of life to the Network and it grants the opportunity to talk with customers about other products and services that the bank can offer them.
Those who returned to the branches at the first signs of recovery have discovered that they are completely adapted to the brand image and in the midst of a digitisation process. The latter is extremely significant for two reasons;
Most managers now have tablets at their work stations, with which they can carry out tasks ranging from collecting a biometric signature to expediting cash flows. The use of email is also being fostered to give notifications of charges to accounts, reports and even to subscribe investment funds via the password card.
All of this results in greater convenience for customers. But, basically, it frees up time so that branches are dedicated to what really contributes value to the bank: personal advisory services and marketing products. These tasks are carried out in accordance with the best practices protocol assumed by the bank, whose application is regularly supervised. During 2015, quality audits were completed in the General Branches.
On 31 December 2015, Bankinter had 361 General Branches, 48 Private Banking Centres, 78 Business Centres and 22 Corporate Centres. General branches are mainly in medium sized and large urban centres, whereas business centres are located in industrial estates. Enterprise Centres and Private Banking Centres are distributed across the primary cities in Spain.
No new openings have been planned for 2016. The objective is that the Network completes its digitisation, extending it across all processes, except for that of advising. It will also improve its value proposal, with a mix of good products and quality of service. With this objective in mind, those responsible for the Network will continue working so that professionals integrated into this network have better training and a stronger capacity to adapt.
The Network of Bankinter Agents is a business model whereby the company is associated with highly regarded financial professionals. Bankinter shares profits generated by the joint activity with these professionals, without incurring in the costs of a traditional branch. In this way, these agents contribute their knowledge and their customers, whereas the bank provides its financial product portfolio, as well as the potential and accredited reputation of its brand.
The priority of the Agents Network, which is considered to be one of the strongest in the country, is focused on attracting high-value customers. For this reason, the Network directs its activity towards Private Banking customers, who request financial services that are adapted to their needs. In this regard, the Network works in close contact with the bank's Private Banking sector and its members receive continuous training so that they can offer the highest quality service and bring value to their customers.
In 2015, the bank's commitment to this business let to the incorporation of more than one hundred new agents, who brought around a growth, both on and off the balance sheet, of more than 2,000 million euros, raising the total of managed client resources to 11,300 million euros. More than 3,000 million of this corresponds to investment funds, whose assets increased by more than 60%. Furthermore, the number of SICAVS under management rose considerably, jumping from 78 to 125.
The objectives for 2016 are to consolidate this growth through a stronger relationship with the area of Private Banking, as well as to control the process of the network's expansion, which has grown quickly and significantly over recent years.
Agents of the Bankinter Network, as the independent professionals that they are, work from their own offices. However, a select group are physically located in so-called Agent Centres, which are high-standard facilities that the company provides for them, allowing them to establish a more direct connection between the client and the Bankinter brand. There are nine centres like this in Spain: two in Madrid and one in Zaragoza, Barcelona, Sevilla, Valencia, Alicante, Las Palmas and Logroño.
It is currently very fashionable to share ideas and results in the world of business, but Bankinter has been doing it successfully for many years. In 1991, the project that we now know as a Partnet Banking was born and, since then, it has continually generated profits for the parties involved, year after year.
Banking Partnet is a network that runs parallel to that of conventional offices based on alliances with large companies, designed to develop financial services with them. The agreement consists of installing 'a Bankinter branch' within the company. The bank provides the technology and the knowledge; the company promotes its services among employees, customers and suppliers, and a part of the profits of this collaboration are distributed between both parties.
This business model, based on confidence and transparency, led the way to the acquisition of 2,054 new customers in 2015, raising the total to 33,380. Overall, nearly 400 companies have Bankinter Partnet Offices, including Atresmedia, Accenture, Mediaset, Meliá, Cepsa, EY, McKinsey, IBM and HP. The earnings before tax in 2015 was 31 million euros, thanks to the very low level of non-performing loans (1%; ten times less than the average of the sector), a strong balance sheet and a very low level of structural costs.
If Partnet Banking has worked well up to now, the future is certainly promising. Its commitment to transparency, collaboration and a focus on the medium term are not only coherent with Bankinter culture; they also fit with the principles of sustainability and Good Corporate Governance that are being imposed in the financial sector. On the basis of these criteria, the bank proposes several pillars for growth:
The client no longer needs a physical location in order to connect with the bank. Instead, customers need the company to be contactable via email, internet or over the telephone in order to meet their needs. Bankinter's remote network services respond to this need with specialised teams, which, as well as managing new client communication trends, are capable of taking initiative and acting proactively.
Thus, for example, the telephone banking service has evolved from the customer support service, which continues to function correctly with quality assurance, working towards business activity that is aimed at results.
With this approach, the professionals using this platform not only receive calls, but also contact customers to offer them products and services adapted to their profiles. Similarly, Bankinter has teams that are specialised in client retention, both in the insurance sector and the pension plan sector, intervening when customers wish to cancel their services. This is how great value is generated for the company. The service is provided from Bankinter's facilities in Spain, and always with professionals in the region. The Telephone Banking service is one of the most valued from the client's perspective, with a customer satisfaction rating and referral rating of 49.2% and 40.35%, respectively.
Another form of remote client attention is that which take places when a client has either been signed up over the phone or online, and who therefore has not been allocated a physical branch. In such cases, the remote client care process is initiated, which allows the client to make consultations or carry out operations over the phone or online.
The above-mentioned procedure is also in place for customers that have been allocated a physical branch but who wish to engage in such remote services.
Remote client care, which is provided to the Retail, Personal Banking and Partnet Banking segments, and to the Agent Network, is supported by the bank's CRM system. This system, which interacts with the commercial network and constructs predictive models of preference, facilitates the ability to give advice and to manage the needs of customers remotely.
Remote channels are being used more and more by Bankinter's customers. The channel that is by far used the most is the Internet. Of all the transactions made with the bank in 2015, 58.6% were carried out online. If we break this figure down, we can see that business customers are those who used the Internet the most for such transactions, representing 87.1% of the sector, whilst the percentage for Private Banking is 66.8%; Retail Banking, 63.2%; and Personal Banking, 66.9%.
In this context of new demands, Bankinter considers that this multichannel approach, understood as the possibility to interact via various channels easily and instantly, without losing any information, is key in adapting services to client behaviour, wherever they are.
For this reason, in 2015 the company launched its new mobile banking service, an innovative and agile version that allows customers to operate and consult their accounts regardless of the device being used (tablet or smart phone).
Thanks to the new Bankinter application, it is possible to see movements on accounts, carry out national and international transfers, operate with investment funds, make deposits and even return debits. The system also keeps customers informed via a new notifications system, which sends customised alerts to the mobile device, and also gives them the option of receiving notifications via sms messages.
At the end of 2015, and coinciding with new charges for ATM services, Bankinter also launched an app to let its customers know, using a geolocation system, where they can withdraw cash without being charged. The application provides the location of the ATMs as well as directions.
In 2015, the bank also made a new online registration system available to prospective customers. With this new process, any individual interested in becoming a client with Bankinter will be able to do so completely virtually, without the need to attend a physical branch. The process of information, identification and verification is very simple, and the future client is guided throughout to solve any unforeseen events that may emerge. Furthermore, customers can stop the process at any moment and come back at a later moment, picking up from where they left off.
Other improvements to online operations were the following:
In 2015, Bankinter maintained its social media growth and exploitation strategy, constituting an important factor of change in the business digitalisation procedure. Thanks to these platforms, the bank can get a better understanding of customers' needs and thoughts, as well as attract new customers, inform them about matters that may be relevant to them and promote customers. Social networks are also an extremely useful tool for keeping in touch with the company's public image and, consequentially, for improving its reputation. The array of possibilities is growing by the day, as has been demonstrated with the emergence of new uses of technology (for example, Big Data and Social CRM).
On 31 December, Bankinter had 69,043 followers on Facebook (30.6% more than in 2014) and 42,811 on Twitter (+18.4%). During the year, the monitoring firm Alto Analytics detected 97,672 digital appearances of the brand, which corresponds with a growth of 10.8% on the previous year, including news and comments in online media outlets or forums. Together with this quantitative advance, once again the bank ended the year with a greater percentage of positive mentions on social networks (72%), according to details gathered on a monthly basis by the specialist company Acceso.
Bankinter drove a large part of these appearances thanks to an active digital campaign developed by the department of Social Networks, which belongs to the area of External Relations and CSR and provides a global and transversal service to the organisation. The 'Bankinter Blog' deserves a special mention, as it boosted its audience by 49%, reaching a total of 1,261,683 annual visits last year, according to data from Google Analytics. This digital space has become an information centre for customers and potential customers, which attracts more and more readers who are interested in financial news. Its content on personal economy (investment, property, taxation and saving) corresponds with the most read articles by the Blog's readers.
In 2015, Bankinter set the objective to investigate possible uses of social networks for the bank, both for individual customers and businesses. For this purpose, a project was set up with the CRM department to gain a better understanding of customers through Big Data tools. The first discoveries have been promising, and are sure to continue in the same fashion. Additionally, a plan was initiated to improve the customer attraction systems via LinkedIn, which is currently awaiting results and analyses.
For 2016, the bank will continue to expand its knowledge in the context of social networks, always in search of an approach to improve the business, its communication and its reputation.
The marketing department designs and develops the most appropriate marketing actions in order to meet commercial objectives, supporting new product launches and services to various client segments, providing all of the necessary materials for commercialisation and communication.
During 2015, multiple marketing campaigns were actively developed, incorporating direct, digital and mass media. In this context, it is worth emphasising the bank's constant presence in digital media throughout the year, especially in search engines and affiliate marketing. Likewise, the marketing department has continuously supported the commercial network, preparing and distributing communication materials from various campaigns and organising events to develop commercial activities.
A significant landmark of 2015 was the simplification and rationalisation of the creative agencies that collaborate with the marketing department in preparing and launching all campaigns, both in direct and mass media, as well as strengthening the creativity of all communications.
As a consequence, the positioning axis of being 'Decidedly persona' was born, which positions Bankinter as a bank that prioritises individual attention over mass attention.
The improvement to advertising results measurement systems has been another field in which work was carried out throughout the year. Specifically, and with respect to improvements in the efficiency of purchasing advertising media, a measurement system has been developed via comparing prices with a 'benchmark', formed by key advertisers in the country, which has led to improved efficiency when purchasing advertising.
With respect to improving the efficiency and results of the campaigns, the econometric models created in 2013 have continued to develop. This evolution will allow for the learning pathway and improvement process to continue in each campaign launched. On a more technical level with respect to advertising efficiency, via models of direct response attribution, the area is now more capable of measuring the return on television spots, by channel, days of the week, time slots, etc., which allows for an optimal mixed-media proposal to be developed, maximising the ROI on all advertising campaigns.
In a digital context, the marketing department made developments in the management of search engine actions in 2015, by implementing a robot that automises the optimisation of SEM campaigns (advertising on search engines), analysing all of the information online (competition, consumer behaviour, etc.), which allows for planning to be adjusted in real time when obtaining the most efficient and effective result.
With respect to marketing at the point-of-sale, with an aim to optimise and better control the spaces and materials of the General Branches, an integral audit of the offices was carried out, which allowed the databases to be updated, adjusting the formats and creative aspects to the available spaces, thus improving the effectiveness of material production and the efficiency of advertising messages and creativity.
With respect to direct marketing, the traditional activity of client-focused communications has been maintained, with an objective to help in product cross-selling. In addition, the acquisition of groups has been supported via personalised offers.
Among the most relevant initiatives and campaigns of 2015, the following stand out in particular:
Bankinter 5% Salary Account Campaign: launched in January and continuing until February 2015, the aim of this campaign was to capture new customers and Salary Accounts.
The media plan incorporated TV spots, press, radio and digital media, as well as outdoor advertising with posters and billboards in the office network. Furthermore, the plan included specific actions with respect to search engines and affiliate marketing.
1.50% Mortgage Campaign: launched in February 2015, the aim of this campaign was to capture new customers, via the offer of a new mortgage product, with an attractive price and special sign-up conditions. The media plan included TV spots supported by display banners in digital media, as well as SEM and affiliate marketing.
Overall, both campaigns were remarkably successful, leading to the acquisition of new customers. Specifically, the two campaigns attracted 8,942 new customers.
With respect to events organised by the marketing department, the “Gira Bankinter” or “Bankinter Tour” stood out in particular, seeing the singer Estrella Morente, along with a roster of invited artists, tour around 10 Spanish cities. The “Bankinter Tour”, which, on this occasion, formed part of the events organised as part of the bank's 50th birthday, was deemed a classic; this being the sixth consecutive year that the tour took place, which proved hugely popular among the public. Specifically, during 2015, 14,000 people associated with the world of Private and Corporate Banking attended.
Additionally, with an aim to develop stronger relationships with customers and potential customers of Private Banking and Enterprise Banking, the following activities took place:
Masterclass “Discover your Blue Ocean” with Enterprise Banking customers and potential customers in 3 Regional Organisations of the bank, attended by 329 executives.
Fusion Suite with the violinist Ara Malikian and guitarist José Luis Montón, gathering 50 customers of Corporate Banking.
Exclusive luncheons with Private Banking customers attended by almost 750 people.
Financial meetings in different cities, with an objective to advise customers with high incomes and give them information with respect to investment funds with an original and innovative format. Almost one thousand people have attended these events, led by Javier Bollaín, Managing Director of Bankinter Securities, Rafael Alonso, from the Area of Analysis, as well as invited fund managers.
Intimate Events for Private Banking customers in different Organisations; 5 Operas led by the soprano Pilar Jurado, and 5 Gastro-experiences, led by 5 Chefs awarded with Michelin stars.
In order to promote the Equities Business, Masterclasses were run, led by the Directors of Equities from each Organisation and the Analysis team.
CRM is the area responsible for getting to know the client (needs, preferences and all other relevant matters) and for having a unique vision thereof, with an aim to effectively and efficiently develop a relationship, from both a commercial point of view and from a general perspective of the client's experience with the bank, always striving to maximise profitability, satisfaction and relationships with the client, identifying what should be offered in each interaction, depending on the channel and the circumstances, based on behavioural patterns and results' analyses.
Thus, it is a strategic component in the activity of several of the bank's areas and businesses, providing the necessary tools for launching and prioritising commercial actions (events, algorithms and alerts), as well as the necessary business intelligence for complete client management and decision making.
In 2015, commercial actions with Commercial Banking customers were primarily focused on development and relationships with customers (with actions towards asset growth, payrolls, etc.), however, the increase in the number of commercial actions supporting the strategic commitment is worth highlighting. In Enterprise Banking, CRM actions have been focused around analysing the network and making it available, as well as opportunities to increase high-quality credit investments and to achieve successful business relationships. Furthermore, advancements have been continually made with respect to actions based around high-quality potential customers, using Big Data techniques, georeferencing and synergies among businesses, in instances that we consider to have high potential.
New regulatory requirements, regarding investor protection, client identification or security online, indicate that the bank must contact its customers to explain these changes, all the while maintaining the commercial dynamic of the company at its highest levels.
The ability to contact customers has continually been improved in a more efficient manner thanks to periodical data updates; a vital requirement for commercial activities with customers, and, in particular, remote commercial activities.
In 2015, digital transformation made a huge advance. Although the bank has spent years interacting with customers via remote networks, the rising use of mobile phones and tablets has meant that the bank, via its CRM, now offers its products and services via these devices.
In this regard, and by way of example, with respect to debits and credits that can occur in a client's account, financing products or investment products can instantly be offered to the client accordingly.
Another example of new advances in this 'multi-channel' world is the recent use of push notifications on mobile devices, which help to communicate certain operations (that are simple enough to be explained in a text message), and which facilitate everyday processes with customers, such as activating the fingerprint feature on iPhones or using geo-localisation. The bank is able to communicate with customers, not only according to their profiles, but also based on where they are located at a given moment. This has enormous application possibilities in the future.
Furthermore, in 2015, the transformation of Personal Banking and Enterprise Banking has been completed. For Personal Banking, tools such as reference portfolios have been developed, and all events and actions associated with the life-cycle of the client have been boosted. For Enterprise Banking, after re-segmentation, the foundations have been laid for a new commercial drive, customers have been reassigned and more specific business opportunities have been identified for each segment.
The function of the area of Quality is to evaluate customer satisfaction with respect to the company and the quality of internal processes to drive initiatives that promote excellency in the service, and, as a result, enhance the relationship with customers and their recommendation of the bank.
With this purpose in mind, Bankinter carries out necessary metrics and studies in order to understand its internal and external projections across three areas: the opinion of customers with regard to the quality of personal and digital customer service channels; the opinion of the branches with regard to internal quality; and the position of the company with respect to the market. The ultimate aim is to identify priorities of activity and to promote their application across different areas of the bank and the business network.
As of 2014, the criterion of the recommendations constitutes the customers' opinion indicator. To measure this, the Net Promotor Score is used (NPS), an index that evaluates customers' inclination to recommend Bankinter or its services on a scale from 0 to 10, classifying them into promotors, neutral and detractors. The result is the difference between the percentage of promotors (customers that recommend the bank) and the percentage of detractors (those that do not).
In 2015, the bank continued to transform its measurement systems and quality indicators in all customer surveys and market surveys. For this reason the methodology and calculation were modified, which prevents the bank from being able to establish a homogenous comparison in some variables, although in other cases indicators from 2014 could be updated to facilitate the monitoring of their development.
In any case, results from 2015 present a slightly positive evolution in the level of customers' recommendations of the bank, which is now at 22.9%, compared with 22.5% from the previous year.
This favourable trend is also detected in the sectorial studies of independent companies, in which Bankinter's assessments are, once again, far higher than those of the sector, placing it as one of the leading companies with regard to its service.
2015 saw the incorporation of the recommendation criterion as a quality indicator with Telephone Banking, and the measurement methodology was updated in the digital channels. Results show high customer recommendation levels with respect to personal customer service channels (NPS rose from 34.8% to 37.6%; and the assessment of the personal manager went from 53.1% to 54.5%).
The main objective developed in 2015 was the strengthening of the mobile banking service, whose design and navigation were completely updated, now incorporating new functions that allow customers to monitor their accounts and investments from their smartphone or tablet. Operations such as transferring pension plans from another company, making additional contributions to pension plans, password reactivation and the ATM locator, among others, further enriched the mobile banking service.
Furthermore, a new notifications system was designed, dealing with contracted services and products (anti-fraud alerts, movements and account positions, etc,), which can be activated free of charge from Bankinter's mobile banking application, and which allows customers to continually stay informed of positions and investments with the bank.
Procedure improvements, based on internal satisfaction polls and customer opinions, were based around refining existing processes, such as the online client sign-up process and internal treatment of incidents and claims.
Studies that measure Bankinter's results compared with its competitors draw very positive conclusions. These are two of the studies carried out in 2015:
• NPS of Bankinter in retail banking (individuals). The benchmarking study (comparative analysis) of customer satisfaction in the financial sector, carried out by an independent company, shows that Bankinter offers a level of quality that is considerably higher than the average of the sector. In 2015 the difference was expanded to 15 points. The ratings within the study show improvements in the majority of assessed attributes, highlighting the positive development of the office, mobile banking, the offer of the product/price and incident management. This trend can be explained by the increase in the level of commitment and customer recommendations
• Objective quality of the business network. The assessment of the bank in the EQUOS RCB study positions Bankinter as one of the leading companies in the sector. The study assesses the quality provided in the commercial network of branches of the main financial entities in Spain, using the technique of mystery shopping. The development of the objective quality of Bankinter offices in 2015 was very positive. It underlined improvements to customer service, product explanations and documentation provided to potential customers at the end of their visits.
Bankinter's customers can direct any complaints and claims to do with the bank to the Customer Service department, through any of the available communication channels (website, mobile, physical branch, telephone, etc.). The objective of this department is to ensure correct attention, resolution and client communication. Modifications to management processes, registrations and incident analyses were implemented during 2015, in order to bring solutions and improvements to internal procedures related to the client.
In 2015, complaints and claims processed by Customer Services decreased by 13.4% with respect to 2014, amounting to a total of 4,400, of which 47.9% were resolved within a period of 48 hours; claims of a financial nature amounted to 3,433, 44.9% of which resulted in a favourable resolution for the client.
With regard to the Bank's volume of transactions, the number of complains and claims fell to 1.52 per million transactions (against 2.19 the previous year).
As well as the Customer Service Department, customers can also sent their complains and claims to a thirdparty body, namely the External Ombudsman, either because they disagree with the way the Bank resolved an issue, or because they simply prefer to address this body directly.
Additionally, should customers disagree with the responses received, they can direct their complaints and claims to the Complaints Departments of Banco de España, the Spanish National Stock Market Commission, or the Spanish Directorate-General of Insurance for matters corresponding with each respective body.