How can retail banking sales be made marketable for the future?

hpo Practical Case Banking

How can retail banking sales be made marketable for the future?

hpo Practical Case Banking

Over the past ten years, the interest margin of Swiss retail banks has dropped by over a third. This is eroding one of the most important sources of income in retail banking. Added to this are new market players from the Fintech sector, which are putting pressure on traditional banking with innovative business models. Considering these challenges, hpo supported a traditional Swiss financial services provider in reorienting its physical sales to remain marketable in the future.

Retail banking is being made more digital and efficient.

Customer needs

The radical changes in the banking industry demand that retail banking, which has been severely affected by the ongoing low interest rate situation, be made more digital and efficient. The client of hpo has recognized this and decided on appropriate strategic measures to increase efficiency. The critical step was to align the quality of advice and support guided by new factors. Available customer data was to be used to a greater extent to serve customers in line with their potential. Also, further synergies were to be realized through an organizational adjustment of the sales structures. hpo was commissioned to design and accompany the comprehensive realignment of the entire sales department to ensure that the implementation of the defined individual measures result in a coherent overall picture.

Aim of the project

The strategic goal of the financial services provider was to ensure that its physical sales operations were fit for the future, considering the agreed efficiency measures. The focus of the realignment was on redesigning the service model based on customer potential, introducing a new lead-based approach, and realizing organizational synergies between the private and business customer segments. The determination of customer potential should be based primarily on appropriate customer intelligence. The primary challenge was to harmonize the customer care model, the working method, and the organization. Due to its methodical competence, hpo was commissioned to develop and implement a consistent business process model and the appropriate organizational structure for sales.


After an initial context analysis, the agreed efficiency improvement measures were refined and coordinated to create a uniform overall picture. The next step was to develop a target business process model – together with the internal project team – as an overall objective. Based on the designed support and business process model, the requirement profiles and roles of the various sales units within the organisation could be derived and the new, more efficient working methods defined. Thematic work packages were defined based on the target picture and transferred to an implementation road map. This ensured that the cost saving targets were achieved on schedule. After the design of the target picture and the rough implementation planning, the implementation project was set up and executed with the support of hpo. The main components of the implementation were on the one side the organizational adjustments, which had a strong impact on the employee level and on the other side the adaptation of the IT tools, which had to be adapted to the new support model and the new working methods.


The transition to the new support model was successfully completed, software adaptations were rolled out, employees were prepared for the new working methods, and the new organization was introduced on the agreed date. A key success factor for this was that the numerous topics to be addressed were coordinated from the outset of the project, thanks to the initial integration of the efficiency enhancement measures into a coherent overall picture for sales. This enabled inconsistencies and coordination needs to be identified at an early stage and ensured that the measures were implemented successfully and on schedule. With hpo’s help, the retail sales department was adapted to the changed market conditions and thus created the basis for further digitalization.

“PostFinance is undergoing a fundamental change: Society – and with it banking – is becoming increasingly digital, which fundamentally changes the needs and behavior of customers. In close cooperation with hpo, we have succeeded in realigning our retail sales activities in response to this change and making them more efficient. Thanks to its methodological competence, hpo has made a major contribution to forming a coherent overall picture from various efficiency enhancement measures and thus to achieving the ambitious project goals. hpo’s support in the context of co-project management ranged from conception to implementation, which went smoothly and according to plan. hpo was always in control of the complexity of the overall project. Especially valuable was hpo’s ability to closely coordinate the IT, HR, and communication departments.”
Sylvie Meyer
former Head of Retail
Portrait Sylvie Meyer

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Who is hpo?

hpo makes companies more successful and more innovative. The strategy consultancy for enterprise design boasts more than 25 years of experience in the creation of strategies and organisations spanning many different industries. The management consultants at hpo specialise in the meticulous development of strategies, processes, business models, innovation and culture, and in accompanying the transformation.

The hpo design approach enables companies to better cope with strategic and organisational challenges and to realise substantial competitive advantages. The basis of the industry-spanning design approach is an academically grounded methodology with which high performance organisations are shaped and which is continually further developed with the latest findings from research and practice.

The management consultants at hpo come from a commercial or technology background and stand out with their high level of analytical and emotional intelligence. They are passionate in their dedication to the client’s concerns and enjoy working in a team.

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