Annual Report 2017

Retail customer securities business Securities investment advice and digitization

DZ BANK helps the cooperative banks to provide a comprehensive range of tailored investment solutions for their securities business with retail customers – using both online and offline channels. The cooperative banks’ traditionally close relationships with their customers are thus combined with digital channels oriented to customers’ needs.

When it comes to the behavior of retail customers, bank products can be divided into two categories. The products in the first category generate active demand and include payments processing, various types of insurance, and home finance. When they need products such as these, the vast majority of customers will themselves contact an advisor at their bank or use a relevant online platform. The situation is quite the opposite in the second category, with most customers only taking action if the subject is raised during a face-to-face meeting with an advisor or if they see something on the internet that looks relevant to their needs. Most personal investment products fall into this category, as does securities business with retail customers. Many customers are aware that they cannot really avoid securities products when making an investment, particularly in the current environment of low interest rates. However, many are often reticent to act alone.

That is why DZ BANK helps the cooperative banks in a variety of ways to offer needs-oriented securities investment solutions and to contact customers about such products, whether via online channels or in person. This benefits the banks as the focus on customer requirements allows them to stand out from the competition. But it also caters to the interests of customers, who of course now use various channels to obtain information about investment products but still appreciate face-to-face, personal contact with their bank advisor. Moreover, the cooperative banks’ selling points have traditionally been their customer focus and their long-standing customer relationships, which frequently go back many years. The close customer/principal bank relationship is often further strengthened by the fact that the customer is also a shareholder in the cooperative bank.

DZ BANK helps the Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken to make full use of their strengths in their securities business with retail customers. The cooperative banks have access to DZ BANK’s attractive portfolio of securities business products, among which they will find solutions that are optimally tailored to different types of investor, different investment objectives, and different market situations. DZ BANK offers investment solutions that enable the customers of the Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken to invest in the stock markets and bond markets, whether in individual securities or in indices. The investment advisors in the cooperative banks can directly access all the product and market information across all channels from their banking workplace, so they can make full use of it during customer meetings. The cooperative banks can also draw on the expertise of DZ BANK’s capital market strategists, who produce regular newsletters on subjects relating to capital markets and investing. The retail customer advisors use these newsletters in their sales work. Furthermore, experts at DZ BANK regularly arrange teleconferences for the local securities advisors in which they report on the latest developments in the capital markets and on the possible ways of using the product solutions that are important in retail customer business.

Independent retail investors who do not want personal advice from their principal bank can obtain information about the product portfolio of DZ BANK online at There they will find detailed information on products such as investment certificates and leverage products, along with information on various capital markets and an online magazine containing up-to-date and useful background information for investment decisions.

As the use of digital technologies increases and customers’ requirements change, an efficient omnichannel strategy becomes increasingly important to the cooperative financial network in its securities business with retail customers. That is why DZ BANK is helping the cooperative banks to optimize their customer and advisory processes in the securities business, both online and offline.

The availability of both online and offline channels is crucial to sales success, especially as personal advisors will continue to actively help customers with their investments for the foreseeable future, supported by customized information provided through online channels.