The shortlist
for the 2012 Retail Banker
sponsored by Fiserv
has now been finalised.

The fallout from the banking crisis has
shredded the reputations of some of the world’s highest profile
banks but a notable number of lenders have excelled.

It is no surprise that Standard Chartered, for
example, is shortlisted in 10 of the 22 Awards categories.

In Canada, Royal Bank of Canada has scarcely
put a foot wrong – recognised by its shortlisting in five of the
Awards categories.

HSBC posted a record reported profit for 2011
and it is no surprise that the bank is shortlisted for the top

In the US, Wells Fargo posted a record net
income while US Bank ended 2011 on a strong note, reporting both
record net revenue and record net income.

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The presence of both banks on the shortlist
for top North American retail bank comes as no surprise.

Multiple nominations for Chase, and Itau
Unibanco are no less surprising.

Winners will be revealed during a webinar on
18 May with coverage in the next issue of Retail Banker

The Awards category to receive the largest
increase in nominations compared to previous years relates to the
best use of social media in retail banking.

Such was the huge number of nominations for
this Award that there is an argument to increase the number of
Awards relating to social media in future years.

DNB in Norway is a strong contender with its
use of social media to boost its reputation as being open and
accessible and at the same time emphasise the importance of being
customer oriented.

Arguably, its use of social media in an
integrated campaign has been one of the most successful such
campaigns witnessed in Scandinavia.

DNB faces strong competition from Chase: as
part of an advertising and marketing campaign around its Chase
Freedom credit card, the bank hosted a sweepstake with a top prize
of $1m. It generated a huge amount of interest from banking and
non-banking press alike.

Meantime, in the UK, Barclays has been one of
the most innovative of large firms to drive engagement programmes
online for customers including social media.

Innovative use of digital media is also
evident from the banks nominated for the Award for digital
marketing excellence.

Prudent investment in natural search, paid
search and social media is enabling digital marketers from
nominated banks such as Bank of America, HSBC and Santander to
uncover opportunities not really thought possible only a few years


Next generation branch

Among the most hotly contested Awards
categories is the award for best branch strategy.

Cutting down the banks nominated for this
category to a mere five lenders – Citigroup, Itau Unibanco, RBC,
Standard Chartered and Umpqua –  was no easy task.

While banks around the world ramp up their
efforts to boost digital channel use, the humble branch will remain
the preferred channel of choice for millions of customers, even in
mature banking markets for years to come.

It is however of increasing importance that
banks invest in the branch channel to ensure that they offer an
environment that meets customers’ growing satisfaction

The supplement accompanying this issue – Next
Generation Branch Design, sponsored by leading UK-headquartered
design consultancy allen international, gives a number of examples
of how banks can benefit from investment in the branch.

In particular, the case studies demonstrate
that great opportunities can be achieved at branch level through
design with the aim of increasing customer confidence.