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WSBI-ESBG French member revamps retail banking efforts

WSBI-ESBG French member revamps retail banking efforts

​​​Groupe BPCE, prior to the launch of its future strategic plan, unveils a plan to transform its retail banking activities

>> See the BPCE press release​

PARIS, 21 February 2017 –  Faced with new expectations on the part of its customers and a paradigm shift in the technological environment, Groupe BPCE announces the launch of a retail banking transformation plan. This project represents a major step forward in the preparation of its next strategic plan for 2018-2020. It is based on three defining initiatives: a program devoted to the customer relationship model, a transformation and operational excellence plan, and an ambitious digital action plan.​

Goupe BPCE boasts considerable strengths in this ongoing transformation process with 75% of its customers subscribing to online banking services at the end of 2016, 100,000 documents signed electronically every day, or applications developed for the Group's retail banking networks downloaded nine million times.

​François Pérol, Chairman of the Management Board of Groupe BPCE, said: “Prior to the preparation of its future strategic plan for 2018-2020, Groupe BPCE is boosting its momentum with the launch of a wide-ranging plan for the transformation of its retail banking activities. This plan will be based on a program designed to transform our customer relationship model to offer the promise of continuing close proximity in a digital world; on a transformation and operational excellence plan enabling us to enhance our performance in order to generate new investment capacity and to make a success of the drive currently prepared by the Group to upgrade its range of technological solutions; and on an ambitious digital action plan, which is already up and running and provided with significant resources both in France and in the international arena.”

A plan for retail banking transformation based on three defining programs

To transform its retail banking activities, Groupe BPCE is launching three defining initiatives: a program focused on its customer relationship model with a view to reasserting a promise of continuing close proximity while simultaneously offering greater consultancy services and high quality service both within the branch and remotely; an operational excellence plan designed to pool and simplify the Group’s structure, its IT services and processes; and an ambitious digital action plan with the aim of "keeping it simple" for the Group’s customers, employees and stakeholder communities.

This transformation plan will go hand-in-hand with a cost-cutting drive targeting savings worth €1 billion in a full year by the end of 2020, including a new €750 million Group program (excluding Natixis) and a transformation and operational excellence plan for Natixis worth a total of €250 million. Implementing this plan will require an investment of 790 million euros, including €220 million for the Natixis plan.

Investments for an aggregate total of €​750 million over the 2017-2020 period will also be devoted to speeding up and industrializing the digital developments pursued by Groupe BPCE.

​The retail banking transformation plan is the subject of a comprehensive and detailed presentation that may be consulted on the section below and also via this link on

>> See the BPCE press release​

WSBI-ESBG postion on digitisation

Keeping pace with the accelerating speed of digitization is a challenge for all banks and regulators, but it offers an unparalleled opportunity to increase the customer proximity that has always been a characteristic of savings and retail banks. Digitization changes how customers and banks communicate with each other. Physical branches will become less essential to processing customer transactions. But their importance will increase as they become the centre of an intensified high-quality customer advisory service.

Savings and retail banks are strongly committed to treating all digital data as strictly confidential, and stress the responsibility of policy makers, regulators and supervisors to create and apply a regulatory framework that fosters innovation but simultaneously ensures the security, data and consumer protections that is key to preserving trust in the financial sector.

ESBG also notes a worrying tendency to adopt light-touch regulation for new digital competitors in financial services, whilst leaving incumbent savings and retail banks burdened by heavy regulation.​

​​​>> Explore: ESBG position paper on digitisation and innovation (.pdf)

Communication - institutional & commercial; Digitalisation; Innovation; Banking Technology