Helaba Annual Report 2016
Annual Report 2016

Customer Relationship Management

The counselling services provided by Helaba’s customer relationship management (CRM) teams focus on the companies, institutional customers and public-sector institutions customer segments. Customer relationship managers cultivate close relationships with their clients and analyse each customer’s specific requirements continuously. The central point of contact at the Bank for their assigned accounts, they are thoroughly familiar both with the customer and with the sector. They have access to the Bank’s extensive product expertise and work with the product specialists to devise potential solutions matched to the customer’s specific position. This approach enables Helaba to produce and implement customised transactions in a properly coordinated manner quickly and reliably. Its capabilities, continuity and reliability in customer counselling go a long way to explaining the high level of appreciation and trust the Bank enjoys from its customers and the often all-encompassing co-operative relationships that develop between the two underline the high regard in which it is held.

Helaba’s proven business model and good credit standing enable it to meet the needs of its customers without compromise. The Bank gained numerous strong new customers with attractive business approaches in 2016. The co-operation agreement with Deutsche Leasing creates new opportunities for Helaba to support companies internationally.

Helaba strengthened its sale force in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) again in 2016 in recognition of the importance of this regional market for its business. A total of three CRM units in the state give a strong presence on the ground.

The advance of digitalisation has implications for the whole of the financial sector including Helaba, whose priority in this context is to simplify interaction between the Bank and its customers and thereby create greater scope for personal dialogue at an individual level. The Bank is preparing a modern, intuitive customer interface for this purpose that will enable customers to access banking system information easily as well as supporting more effective communication with advisors.

The CRM Wholesale Business section serves companies with sales revenue in excess of € 1 bn. Four highly capable teams, each with its own sector focus, share responsibility for supporting existing customers, many of which have been with Helaba for a long time, and acquiring new customers. The support team assesses the customer’s positioning in the sector, its strengths and weaknesses and potential target areas for financial optimisation measures in rating meetings, strategic analyses or peer group appraisals and is available to discuss any financial matters of concern with the customer.

The CRM MidCaps customer relationship managers specialise in companies with annual sales of between € 250 m and € 1 bn. Helaba has been providing comprehensive coverage of this segment since 2015. The work done to establish new sales offices in Stuttgart, Munich and Münster and enlarge the existing teams in Frankfurt and Düsseldorf is bearing fruit. Strengthening its regional presence in this way brings Helaba closer to its customers and enables it to become active in local networks. The Bank’s main objectives in this context are to attract new customers and build on existing business relationships while giving customers greater scope to pursue their commercial aspirations.

Helaba created and staffed a new section to support corporate customers, CRM International, in 2016. This team’s customer relationship managers support customers based in the UK, France, Spain, Scandinavia and North America and also serve as contacts for subsidiaries of German companies involved in international transactions in these countries. They assist customers of the Bank from the Helaba branch offices in London, Paris and New York and the representative offices in Madrid and Stockholm. The Stockholm representative office opened in summer 2016 to provide locally-based support for German and Scandinavian customers. Adding new sites and expanding the network of correspondent banks where this is likely to be of use to customers allows Helaba to support customers even more effectively.

The CRM Institutional Investors section serves direct insurers and reinsurance companies, both German and international, plus healthcare funding bodies, pension funds, religious institutions and trade unions. Growing volatility and persistently low interest rates are driving the diversification of investment activities into less liquid assets, which generally require higher risk budgets. Helaba increased lending business, primarily real estate lending business, with multinational insurance groups in 2016 thanks in no small measure to the international offices. The Bank maintained its position well in the context of re-tendering processes, especially in the area of payment transactions. The popularity of less-liquid asset classes is likely to continue growing while interest rates remain low.

CRM Public Authorities/Municipal Corporations is the central point of contact for the German federal government, the states and the German municipal authorities together with their respective institutions and majority-owned companies. Helaba assists this customer group, in spheres including the realisation of a wide range of infrastructure projects, with conventional municipal loans, municipal capital market transactions, which have expanded dramatically in recent years, and complex financing structures for energy infrastructure. Helaba made full use of the opportunities presented to public-sector customers by the prevailing low interest rates, further expanding its market-leading position in the core regions in the process.

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