Marazia (Banca Widiba): “To grow we focus on people and technology”

Marazia (Banca Widiba): “To grow we focus on people and technology”

The 2023 results of Widiba Bank they are the ones who are usually defined as flattering and who comment on them for Affari & Finanza Marco Marazia who is the general manager of the MPS Group bank. “Our priority is growth in market share, volumes and network. To achieve this goal we focus on two important assets: people and technology. The Banca Widiba team has exceeded 800 people and last year we had 49 new entries into the network, for a total of 566 consultants; the second is the technological platform that we develop internally and which serves the client, the consultant and the internal user, as well as feeding the data ecosystem. Their virtuous combination defines our modern banking model and customer satisfaction, which we measure daily and which has achieved a rating of 4.85 stars out of 5 in the evaluation of almost 1.5 million reviews. Then there are the economic results, a CET1 of 38%, the cost/income at 42% and the Roe of 30%. These are excellent results, of which we are proud, but which are the consequence of all this and our positioning.”

The growth in 2023 for you as for the entire industry was driven by administered savings. How do you report customers to management?

“We have a consultancy model that looks at investment planning as a whole, so one of our clients can access both administered savings and managed savings tools, even gradually. One of the most innovative tools that we made available to the network last year is scheduled consultancy: a customer who purchases a BTP or a bond in this period can decide, in ways similar to a CAP, to gradually transform his investment into managed savings. We then introduced the Team CF program which allows the management of clients in a collaborative manner between our consultants, a team approach which also gives the possibility of facilitating the generational transition between professionals and managing a client with the support of an expert colleague of a specific subject. This allows us to provide an additional service, in our case completely digital and easily accessible, which I do not consider a temporary solution, but a strategic direction for our industry on which as a bank we are focusing heavily. This approach is in fact particularly appreciated by high-end customers for whom assistance from a team of professionals with complementary and specific skills is essential. Two structural elements of our offer, the complete digitalisation of all services and the open architecture, allow our consultants to always offer the best for their clients and to minimize the time dedicated to the administrative part”.

He cited the growth in the number of consultants and the generational problem. Who are the new entrants?

“About a third of new consultants are made up of new generation professionals; the team management model allows us to proceed gradually and with the times that the financial advisor deems most right, expanding the network and allowing excellent training for young professionals. One of the greatest satisfactions for us is in fact the approach to the profession and the bank of young professionals, who choose to follow the same profession as their parents who proudly introduce them to our bank. Our model, combined with a growing positioning on high-end clients, allows us to be increasingly attractive to highly experienced consultants, equally divided between professionals from the banking world, who decide to embark on their own professional and entrepreneurial path, and senior consultants with strong skills. coming from within the industry”.

To conclude, how do you see 2024?

“I believe that 2024 could be a year of rebalancing. In recent years we have gone from an economic and health crisis, which also led to a large accumulation of liquidity, to a strong recovery in 2021, with a consequent increase in inflation, followed by a collapse of the markets in 2022 to finally arrive at a 2023 of powerful increases in rates and administered savings. While two years ago we had stocks and bonds both with a negative sign, today we are perhaps at the opposite extreme, with stock markets at their highest and bond markets having returns in terms of coupon yield but, prospectively, with the lowering of rates, also in capital account. 2024 could be a year of rebalancing in which to return to the right mix: but always with caution and gradualness, always looking at one’s needs and objectives and without getting carried away by the phenomenon of the moment. For this reason, relying on a financial advisor is always the best advice.”



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