Final Word 2020: François Monnet, Credit Suisse

François Monnet, managing director, head of private banking North Asia, chief executive Hong Kong Branch, Credit Suisse shares his views with Asian Private Banker in ‘The Final Word’, a year in review by the region’s private banking leaders as they share their thoughts and opinions on key issues around industry trends, business performance, investments, regulations, and technology.

Industry Trends | In what ways has the COVID-19 pandemic irrevocably changed the private banking industry and your own bank’s approach to operations and service?

COVID-19 has without a doubt accelerated technology adoption and has spurred a survival-of-the-fittest landscape. Companies that are able to adapt, innovate and evolve their business model to capitalise on opportunities in the digital world will thrive.

At Credit Suisse, our continuous innovation journey in the last few years has placed us in good stead to be the private bank that is at the forefront of technological innovation.

As digitalisation remains a key strategic long-term driver and enabler of sustainable business growth, we have continued investing in and strengthening our digital capabilities.

In 2020, we rapidly exploited our innovative and pioneering digital private banking platform and channels since the start of the pandemic to drive digital engagement with clients on a larger and broader scale. There was an almost instantaneous adjustment of our service delivery model where our business traffic on Credit Suisse Chat and our Digital Private Banking platforms surged and an exceptionally high volume of trades was executed.

We continue to communicate via innovative channels and approaches, such as webinars, calls, podcasts and videos to update clients on key investment themes. Through these channels, we provided thought leadership and guidance to our clients, and we expect technology and digitalisation to only become more prevalent as we move forward.

For us, ensuring that our digital capabilities are at the leading edge is key to making Credit Suisse fit for the future.

Technology | Where do you see the best application of data analytics/machine learning in private banking?

We knew from very early on that technology is critical to our relevance in the future. As such, Credit Suisse was one of the early movers in embracing digital innovation and we remain committed to being at the forefront of digitalisation in the private banking sector.

With the support of technology and data analytics, we augment what our relationship managers can offer to our clients to deliver personalised and timely content suited to the investment appetite of each client.

Consumers in Asia tend to react very positively to digital innovations. Our clients here are also younger, more tech-savvy, and more demanding of digital innovations in banking services. We are simplifying access to the knowledge and resources of the bank, so our clients can communicate efficiently with their relationship managers, identify, and act on the information that is most important to them.

This reinforces our strategy of having a technology-supported relationship manager that is able to provide tailored and relevant advice to our clients. Credit Suisse’s digital strategy will continue to focus on providing tailored advice and self-servicing, seamless onboarding of clients and greater usage of analytics.

Technology at Credit Suisse is of paramount importance; we have a firm belief that technology will shape the future by defining the way clients consume financial services. Therefore, we will continue to harness technology to deliver a higher level of client service.

Technology | How is your bank optimising the utility of the relevant digital tools to prepare frontline staff for client engagement in a post-pandemic environment?

Credit Suisse did not wait for 2020 to tell us that technology is critical. We have been leading in this field and we believe that the strategy we have deployed to market has three key benefits.

First, it is the empowerment of the client and of the relationship manager. Second, it is about connectivity – anytime, anywhere, the way clients want it. Third, it is about that notion of protecting — making Credit Suisse the ‘guardian angel’ of portfolio performance as well as of the risk parameters of the clients. We are augmenting the service ability of the relationship manager with the support of technology.

In terms of connectivity, client and relationship manager engagement on our various digital tools and platforms is high and it continues to grow exponentially.

Since February 2020, we have seen a significant increase in the use of our digital solutions by our clients and relationship managers. We have also seen an increase in client engagement on Credit Suisse Chat, which allows our clients to conveniently engage with our relationship managers via chat messaging, through which we recorded a threefold increase in the number of orders received in the first half of 2020, as compared to the second half of 2019.

Amid the height of the pandemic, we continued to provide thought leadership and guidance to our clients via about 200 digital engagements across Asia Pacific, enjoying a very positive response as the cumulative attendance for this new type of market engagement exceeded 45,000 participants.


Meet 2020’s industry leaders in the full round up of of Asian Private Banker‘s The Final Word 2020.

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