MyPrivateBanking Blog
Daily Comments on the World of Wealth Management

Archive for November, 2013

How banks can become part of their clients’ personal brand

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Evan Spiegel, the founder of Snapchat has been in Europe since turning down the $3 bn offer from Facebook. He has repeated some of his interesting insight and analysis of the social media scene. These include his observation that, unlike Snapchat - which is genuinely recreational in character - Facebook, Twitter and others are all to do with personal branding.

Whether or not you consider personal branding to be cool - Evan Spiegel seems not to - we wonder what kind of private banking would align itself well with possible personal brands. The possibilities for personal branding must be almost endless and no bank could expect to match more than a fraction of them. Nevertheless, there must be some basic pointers that private banks would be well advised to pay attention to.

First off, very, very low rates of interest on clients’ cash deposits is a contemporary fact of life that doesn’t sit well with anyone’s personal brand; it probably makes the customer feel like a sucker. So bankers have plenty of ground to recover in other ways to make clients to want to include them in their personal brand.

The strategies that could help here are an energetic approach in areas like corporate social responsibility and sponsorship. Another area where there is scope for banks to make themselves more appealing is through gaining a reputation for their business banking services to inspiring entrepreneurs or interesting brands.

A bank that is actively (and helpfully) contributing to the market for ideas about investment, economics and business in general will also find that it can become part of clients’ personal brands more easily. If the bank has staff with a recognized media presence on old media and/or new, the likelihood of gaining a place in a customer’s personal social media brand is all the greater.

All these are factors that can make a difference to a bank’s reputation not only among those who cultivate a personal brand but also banks’ less self-aware clientele. However, no private bank has a chance of building the kind of profile that clients like to associate themselves with on social media unless it engages with social media itself.

Our new report on “Social Media for Wealth Management” will be published next week.

(This post is authored by our senior analyst Francis Groves)


For tablets top but for smartphones flop: wealth management websites for mobile browsers

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Many banks and wealth advisers are struggling while trying to keep up pace with the rapid developments in our highly digitalized society. Particularly in the fields of mobile development and online adaptation, financial institutions are more and more challenged to meet the needs of the technology-savvy customer by providing an excellent user experience. Adapting the online presence to the mobile environment can only be considered a first step. Regarding these trends, our analysts have introduced some new criteria to this year’s (4th) edition of the MyPrivateBanking ‘Websites for Wealth Management‘ report. In comparison to the 2012 report we included criteria such as, external Internet recognition and the adaptation of the website for mobile devices. Particularly the latter has sadly proven to be a weak spot for most of the wealth advisors under evaluation.

As basic as the adaptation of a website to various mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets should be, our analysts were disappointed with the outcome of the evaluation. Full scores were only achieved if the entire website worked well for use on a tablet and a smartphone (whether or not it has been adapted) and points have been deducted for lower stages of adaptation. Around 60% of the banks scored points for this criterion with an average of 1.82 points (of total 3 points). While only 15 of the 50 Banks under evaluation offer a manageable version of their website for both devices, the majority only provides a functioning format for tablets. On average the performance of the smartphone-versions is weak: only a few are manageable without holding the device either horizontal or enlarging the font. Amongst the 27 banks that provided more or less manageable smartphone versions are, again, only very few banks that offer a reduced and adapted version of their website.
For the ‘digital native’, as the client of the future can be described, it will be crucial to gain fast access on the go, when searching for information on the respective website. Providers also have to keep in mind that consumers are moving towards a technological development that promotes device hybrid versions and even smaller tablets. Living in this digital environment certainly brings a host of exciting prospects, but also raises questions about how to adapt to new technologies. The concept of responsive design offers an approach that can support struggling wealth managers: It aims at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience, including easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling, across a wide range of devices (from mobile phones to laptop computer monitors). A website designed with a responsive design adapts the layout to the viewing environment and allows the user an undiluted experience. But it is important to keep in mind that the user is not forced to a specific website format. There should always be an easy way back to the full (desktop format) website when a mobile device user wishes to do so.