Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Bank CIC (Switzerland) Ltd. posted very pleasing results for 2020. Thanks to state-of-the-art infrastructure and the extraordinary efforts of all the staff, working from home became the norm almost overnight, and by focusing on existing customers the Bank was able to step up its support, providing information and proposing solutions when they were most needed owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Future and market position
Bank CIC has consistently been keen to innovate, from being a founder member of SWX Swiss Exchange (now known as SIX) right up to the present day. The modern omnichannel solution CIC eLounge and the investment solution clevercircles are just two of the more recent examples that show how the combination of personal advice and technology can generate real benefits and added value for the customer. Accordingly, Bank CIC once again invested in laying the foundations for the future in 2020: it added new jobs, expanding the workforce by 4.5%, and continued to actively pursue the strategy of investing in modern technology to generate additional benefits for the customer. The customers of Bank CIC have confidence in this approach, as demonstrated by volumes per customer and the absolute figures, which were both unchanged. Credit volumes rose by 10.2% to CHF 9.1 billion and net new assets surpassed the CHF 2 billion mark for the first time in 2020.
“Volumes have been doing very well. At the same time, we have been able to sustainably improve our efficiency. The cost/income ratio has fallen over a ten-year period from over 80% to just 66%. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our staff for their commitment and our customers for placing their trust in us,” said CEO Thomas K. Müller. He continued “With CHF 684.3 million of eligible capital, we also have a stable foundation that we have been steadily strengthening for ten years now by pursuing a cautious lending policy and reinvesting all our earnings. In addition, we belong to one of the best-capitalised banking groups in Europe, the cooperative Crédit Mutuel, which gives us access not just to an international network, but also to technology and a vast amount of expertise. From this foundation we want to further strengthen our market position.”
Income performance and profitability
Operating income went up by a further 5.4% year on year to CHF 163.4 million in total. This can mainly be attributed to interest income, which rose by 6.4% to CHF 111.3 million thanks to higher volumes and despite sustained margin pressure. Fee and commission income, the second major contributor, increased by 14.9% to CHF 33.9 million and now accounts for over 20% of total income. Securities transactions make up the majority of this, having done well in 2020 owing to the growing percentage of mandates, increased customer activity and a volatile market performance. The third area of income – trading – went up by 25.2% to CHF 17.5 million.
The results for all three areas are thanks to intensive and expert customer support, higher market volatility resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, and new customers. Efficient cost management allowed the increase in personnel and material costs to be limited to around 3%, despite sustained investment for the future.
Operating profitability performed well: profit was up CHF 9.4 million or 23.7% to CHF 9.4 million. Despite higher tax costs and the creation of additional reserves, net profit rose by 1.2% to CHF 34.2 million.
New Swiss banking
Bank CIC’s new Swiss banking approach makes it a pioneer in the Swiss financial market. It blends tradition and innovation, combines personalised advice with digital solutions, invests in technological progress and sets new standards in banking. The omnichannel approach allows basic services to be provided anywhere at any time in a way that is needs-based and user-friendly. This means Bank CIC is able to achieve maximum quality and efficiency, as well as make use of innovations and technical product developments to ensure services continue to meet the highest possible standards. The focus is on the customer and their individual needs and preferences. Working with customers in a spirit of partnership means they can always rely on top-quality service and advice.
CEO Thomas K. Müller has been at the helm for ten years, during which time volumes have more than tripled and profit has increased more than tenfold. He looks forward to the coming years with confidence, too: “Thanks to our financial stability and responsible and committed employees, we are ready to face current and emerging challenges in the industry and society. We are flexible and well positioned. We will also continue to invest sustainably for the future in order to be a reliable and valued long-term partner for our customers.”
Further information can be found at cic.ch/annualreport