Despite COVID-19, a severe economic downturn and record-low interest rates, Core Europe remains a solid market for retail banking.
If we turn our attention to focus on Core Europe, the situation for banks in the DACH region (made up of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland) looks particularly interesting.
Pre-COVID-19, the average return on equity for German banks was below three percent; while Austria consistently ranks as one of the most densely banked countries in Europe.
We are more convinced than ever that simplification and efficiency are key competitive differentiators across the European banking landscape.
Defining core competencies, being laser-focused on a handful of core products and services and continuously simplifying our business over the years has allowed us to establish a highly efficient business with a cost-income ratio in the low 40s.