All articles by Maryrose Fison

Maryrose Fison

Brazilians tap into digital banking but slow 4G rollout hinders uptake

The proportion of Brazilians using digital banking has soared in recent years but wireless technology infrastructure challenges remain an obstacle to the full operation of mobile banking in remote regions. Maryrose Fison reports

Brazilian banks buoyed by rising demand for mortgages

Brazil’s fast-growing middle class is driving demand for home loans and credit in Brazil. Maryrose Fison investigates how this expanding demographic group is helping retail banks weather a period of tough macro-prudential fiscal measures

Turkish banks capitalise on youthful population

Retail banking is becoming big business in the country that formed the nerve centre of the Ottoman Empire. Maryrose Fison speaks to the banks that are capitalising on Turkey’s young and digitally-savvy population

Belarus retail banking space in the mood for change

The uncertain global economic climate has had a major impact on Belarus retail banking market. In an exclusive interview, Illia Shalanki, retail banking head at Belarusbank, and Ihar Ramanouski, retail services development department director at Belvnesheconombank, give Maryrose Fison an insight into how behavioural trends manifested on balance sheets during 2011. Belarus economy was teetering on the brink of collapse one year ago. The fixed exchange rate regime had proved unsustainable and the governments hard currency reserves fell by 20% in the first two months of the year. Over the course of 2011, the Belarusian Ruble lost two thirds of its value against the dollar and inflation reached more than 100%. For the retail banking market, the spiralling economic crisis had major implications on rates of liquidity. For the first six months of 2011, the outflow of individual term deposits from banks in the national currency amounted to 4.2% and 20.3% in foreign currency. A number of small banks had difficulties meeting the national regulatory capital requirements, equivalent of 5m ($6.5m) for operating banks and 25m for banks authorised to take deposits from individuals.

MPS sets outs ambitious strategy

Nestled beneath the neo-gothic facade of the Palazzo Salimbeni in Siena, Nicola Romito, head of the retail division at MPS, Italys oldest bank, is well underway in executing an ambitious business plan for the next 12 months Wth origins that trace back to 1472, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS) headquartered in the historic 14th Century building once occupied by the Salimbeni family boasts the longest track record of any financial institution in the sun-drenched Mediterranean country.

Catching Latin America’s ‘unbanked’

Walk into any city, town or pueblo in Mexico and you will find either a branch of Banamex, a Banamex ATM or a billboard with one of Banamexs many consumer products on display. The bank ranks second in the country in terms of size and boasts more than 20m customers more than one sixth of Mexicos entire population.

Finland’s OP-Pohjola spurs innovation

Fifteen years after becoming the first European bank to offer internet services to customers, Finlands largest financial services institution is preparing to develop a cutting-edge mobile banking channel Its name may not be well-known outside of Finland, but its influence on the retail banking sector cannot be overestimated

Alfa’s Marey eyes further retail growth

Few banks can say they have seen a seven-fold increase in assets under management year on year, but for Alfa Bank, Russias fourth-largest retail bank with more than fivem customers and a history that is just over two decades old, this is the case Private sector Alfa Bank, Russias fourth-largest bank by assets after state-owned giants Sberbank, VTB and Gazprom, had a stellar year in 2010 and hopes the momentum it has built along with a raft of initiatives, now in their infancy, will result in similarly striking results at the end of this year.

Personal touch benefits Handelsbanken

Handelsbanken has established a reputation for providing a personalised local offering and superior service, overseen by branch managers who enjoy a greater level of autonomy than their peers

SBI targets world class cross-sell

A sharpened segmentation push and continued investment in its multi-channel offering are at the heart of State Bank of Indias retail strategy as it aims for a hugely ambitious near trebling of its cross-sell ratio Providing banking services to a country in the middle of a historic transformation would be a daunting task for the most experienced financial institution