Banca Sistema was founded in 2011. Only four years have passed and you are now one of the most profitable Banks in Italy. What is your secret?
In terms of profitability, Banca Sistema is one of the most profitable banks in Italy, with an ROAE of 38% in the first half 2015, when most bank ROAEs are in the single digits. Our success is driven by our focus on high margin markets, in particular PA factoring, with much attention to controlling costs. The bank was set-up in June 2011 and has always posted a profit along with exponential growth.
What makes your bank so successful? What factors are crucial for banking in the 21st century?
Customer focus and service. In particular technology and speed of service, together with flexibility. The days of local branch presence are fading, today customers want a personalized service, online or by phone, with internet speed.
Banca Sistema is still young, a kind of start-up bank. What does it mean for you and your company to already be working with German customers after one year? Has this contributed to your rapid growth?
Working with German customers has been very interesting for us. We have seen that similar to Italy: when you have a good product, and are very quick in execution, customers will come. Of course, it helps to have good rates as well!
In your opinion – is there a typical behaviour in regards to German saving habits? What is the difference to the Italian way of saving money? Or are they quite similar?
One thing that has surprised us about German customers has been their propensity to go outside their borders. They have demonstrated with their own money that they believe in the EU, and hence have been willing to deposit their money in Italy and elsewhere.
What do you think about the idea of cross-border saving?
It is a very interesting concept that leverages the advantages of the EU, and has allowed us to expand our customer base outside of Italy. It has allowed us to diversify and we expect to continue this in other countries, beyond Germany.
What were your expectations regarding the cooperation with WeltSparen?
We have liked Weltsparen and their idea since the beginning, although we were a bit sceptical as to how many customers we could expect. The results have been better than our expectations. We find working with Weltsparen is very cooperative and dynamic, and it has helped us do things we probably would never have done on our own.
Congratulations on your successful stock market launch this year. An important step in your company history! How did you celebrate this big event?
We only briefly celebrated with our customers, and then got busy again, because the real work starts now that we are a publicly traded company!