The world is changing constantly and we are changing with it. 2017 was shaped by many developments that have influenced us – positive stock market trends alongside continued low interest rates, political uncertainties, regulatory changes and technical developments yielding innovative solutions. For such changes to be seized as an opportunity, it is important to be flexible and respond to them quickly. Opportunities and risks need to be identified, correctly assessed and responsibly utilised.
Bank CIC consistently follows these principles. We rely on our traditional values such as our client focus and entrepreneurial behaviour combined with the highest standards of expertise and the stable foundation of our Group, Crédit Mutuel-CIC, which is one of the best capitalised banking groups in Europe and with which we pursue a strategy of long-term development that is ideally supplemented by an international network of subsidiaries in over 40 countries.
2017 was a year of records for Bank CIC. In many areas we achieved the best results of our 108-year history. The headcount grew by 20 to 367 employees and operating revenue rose by another ten percent to over CHF 128 million. At CHF 8.4 billion, total assets have tripled in the last ten years, as has the number of clients, and business volume developed very positively in 2017 with growth of CHF 1.9 billion. The same applies to profit, which went up by 28 percent.
This positive performance is based on three success factors. These consist first and foremost of our employees who with great flexibility and responsibility act in a spirit of entrepreneurship and partnership in the interests of our clients. They serve to guarantee that our clients are cared for with the highest standard of competence. We attach importance to targeted further training and education and are proud of the fact that we are one of the first banks ever with client advisors who are fully SAQ certified in accordance with the recommendations of the Swiss Bankers’ Association.
The second success factor comprises our products and services. As a flexible banking partner, we combine the expertise and client focus of our employees with an exceptional variety of products and services from a single provider. From the financing of growing current assets by means of factoring and the provision of corporate finance consulting within the scope of succession planning through to the structuring of asset management in the run-up to retirement, we find solutions that are tailor-made for our clients and do everything possible to meet their rapidly changing needs.
The third aspect is our bank’s courage in venturing on new paths. In doing so we often deliberately tread different paths than those of our competitors. Innovation and differentiation are what set our bank apart. We hire additional employees and open new branches. In 2017 we opened our ninth branch in St. Gallen. At the same time we are investing in a targeted manner in smart online solutions that will make banking even easier for our clients in future and through which we wish to open up new client groups.
This way we are reinventing Swiss banking: We are committed to the highest values, work competently and reliably and offer our clients individual and innovative solutions. This facilitates our sustainable and constant success. It is a win-win situation for everyone – for our clients, our employees, our bank and for Switzerland as a financial centre.
The success of this strategy is reflected not just in the 2017 financial results but above all also in the excellent client satisfaction that is our compass for the further development of our bank. We are strategically positioned for further growth and ready to face the new challenges awaiting us in 2018. We would like to thank our clients for their trust and our employees for their commitment and look forward to doing everything we can to inspire them in 2018 too.