Three major strategic issues are driving the financial centre today: the key role in supporting the transition to a sustainable financial system, the importance of maintaining a stable political and legislative framework, and the astute integration of the digital revolution. While the latter issue was accelerated during the Coronavirus crisis – particularly in terms of equipping employees to telework – it was already a basic trend geared towards NextGen clients and adapting more efficiently to new asset classes such as private equity or digital assets. However, despite these technological advances, the human being must remain at the heart of this 'phygital' – both 'physical' and 'digital' – model of tomorrow’s private bank, combining excellent service delivery, personalised attention and remote access.
To support rapid adaptation to certain new technological developments, thus meeting the expectations of a part of the clientele, the implementation of a scalable digital ecosystem appears increasingly necessary; this often corresponds to a major transformation project. Finding the right solution that fits with the DNA and values of a private bank is a real challenge as it involves integrating the technology of remote access and communication with the clients, while maintaining a high degree of human relationship.
It is about meeting several needs at the same time: allowing clients remote access, integrating access to new asset classes more quickly, or facilitating processes so that employees can focus even more on our clients.
This type of project therefore involves an important "change management" component to ensure that the use of new modes of communication – for example via an App between the client and his banker – remains in line with the already established relational and personal style. The ongoing training of employees must also include these aspects.
As the financial industry is based on services and trust, quality human relationships are key. Swiss banks in particular enjoy a very high level of trust among their clients. Personal care is of paramount importance – especially in times of crisis, many customers want an even more regular dialogue.
The longevity of a private bank like Mirabaud is based on the constant search for a balance between tradition and modernity. It is undeniable that the digitalisation of the world is accelerating and that in the financial industry, as in most others, the entire value creation chain is being transformed. The world of technology is inextricably linked to our society today. While these indispensable technologies are becoming increasingly sophisticated, they must nevertheless remain at the service of people.
Trust, as mentioned above, – in connection with stability – as well as service excellence are major pillars of the private banking sector, and the rapid evolution of society only reinforces the importance of these differentiating criteria.
For a traditional bank such as Mirabaud, which is managed by the seventh generation of the founding families, the structuring of an ultra-secure and personalised digitalisation is an absolutely strategic decision. However, it is key to remain authentic and not to compromise on what makes up our DNA: our ability to tailor our quality services, the human scale of the company, the rock solid balance sheet with no proprietary trading activity.
Trust is based on authenticity, transparency and reliability, and private banks must be committed to maintaining a long-term and ethical view of the balance between the human and the digital. This is the way to be agile and adapt to the changing needs of clients in today's world. The high quality of customer service is the basis of the business model and also provides a great deal of professional motivation and 'meaning' to the everyday job.
The private bank of tomorrow will crystallise this high degree of personalised service quality with an innovative offer and tools adapted to technological developments. The relationship of trust and the excellence of the personal service remain and will remain at the heart of private banking.