DIRECT BANKS IN BELGIUM

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1 BEYOND MAINSTREAM Innocent kids or annoying teenagers for incumbent banks? Including perspectives on neighboring countries FEBRUARY 2015

2 1 2 THE BIG 3 25% We expect direct bank penetration to rise to 25% of Belgian retail clients within the next 5 years, up from 10% today. p. 7 EUR Direct bank clients are more educated, earn higher wages and have higher amounts on their savings accounts (estimated at EUR 30,000 on average per account). Direct banks are thus primarily a threat for premium bank services, not mass retail bank services. p. 8 Chapter 1 Direct banking penetration and potential Penetration of 10% over the last 10 years Direct banks 1) have an estimated penetration rate of ~10% of banking clients in Belgium. In terms of regulated savings deposits, they hold approximately EUR ~20 bn, representing ~8% market share. Direct brokers have an estimated EUR bn assets under management. It has taken approximately 10 years to reach this penetration rate, which has been supported by the rise of the internet and e-banking. With the notable exception of Bolero (a daughter of KBC) and Keytrade, most direct banks active in Belgium have been established by foreign brick-and-mortar banks, especially Dutch banks. Two major factors explain this phenomenon. First, the abundance of savings and the lower funding cost in Belgium compared to most neighboring markets allow foreign banks to generate higher margins than via funding in their home country. Secondly, the European passport regulation allows banks with a license in an EEA 2) member state to provide cross-border banking services without establishing a legal entity (subsidiary) in Belgium and without having to file for a local banking license. A 3 80 BPS Today, direct banks compete on price. The most aggressive players offered on average 80 basis points more interest than large banks traditional accounts. However, as the market matures, direct banks will extend their product offering and start to compete on service quality among themselves rather than with traditional banks. Their chances to become clients first bank remain slim. p. 10 A EVOLUTION OF THE BELGIAN DIRECT BANKING LANDSCAPE Entrance of new players over time by origin and business model Foreign bank BE bank or branch network in BE Keytrade Precursors Early followers Crisis break Post-crisis entrants Saxo PSA Bank Cofidis 3) Fortuneo Bank MoneYou Bolero Rabobank Binckbank Lynx NIBC Medirect Evi Hello bank Benchmark direct bank markets p Savings-focus Brokerage-focus Daily banking offer Consumer finance offer 1) We define direct bank as banks without a physical branch network in Belgium 2) European Economic Area 3) Launch of the online channel 2 3

3 B DIRECT BANKS PRICE POSITIONING IN BELGIUM Average total interest rate offered on the main regulated savings account [by bank type, ] 5% 4% 3% 2% 1% 0% Tier-1 banks Direct banks Note: Tier-1 banks: BNP Paribas Fortis, KBC, Belfius, ING; Selected direct banks: Rabobank, Fortuneo, Keytrade, NIBC, Hello bank, Moneyou, Medirect, Evi, PSA Four types of direct banking business models can be distinguished based on their product range: DIRECT BANKS FOCUSING ON SAVINGS: banks offering one or two products such as regulated savings accounts and/or term accounts (e.g. Evi, Moneyou, NIBC, MeDirect, etc.). Most of these banks are affiliated to a foreign (Dutch) bank and enter the Belgian market with the aim to raise deposits at a low cost. Once they have met their volume targets, their price setting becomes less aggressive. DIRECT BANKS FOCUSING ON BROKERAGE/IN- VESTMENTS: banks targeting investors with a range of investment products. Direct banks with a brokerage-focus take advantage of modern web-based trading platforms to enhance customer experience and are linked to asset management. DIRECT BANKS WITH A DAILY BANK OFFERING: banks focusing on a daily offering of payments and savings account, potentially complemented with consumer credit and standard insurance products. DIRECT BANKS WITH A CONSUMER FINANCE OFFERERING: banks focusing on consumer finance through credit cards and/or instalment loans. Direct banks attract clients with a high interest rate and/or attractive fees on a limited range of products The direct banks value proposition for clients is simple: a high interest rate on standard savings products and/or attractive fees on brokerage services. Direct bank development has also been spurred by decreased bank loyalty, the rise of comparators and the will to spread risk over several banks. B In terms of products, the majority of direct banks offer a narrow product range, focusing either on a selection of (regulated) savings accounts or investment products. Without doubt, the limitations of the direct channel play a role here. Naturally, it is more difficult in the direct channel to build an anchored long-term client relationship and offer credits or complex products, where advice still plays a valuable role in the sales process. While a simple product offering combined with attractive prices has been the norm until now in Belgium, recently some entrants have adopted a different positioning., for instance, has put the accent on (young) customers daily banking needs rather than on price. Belgium s direct banking penetration rates are low compared to Germany but higher than in France C The direct banking market in Germany is more mature and competitive than in Belgium (higher client penetration rate, more clients per bank, ). Similar to Belgium, German direct banks were initially established as deposit-raising or brokerage banks. They gradually C DIRECT BANKING LANDSCAPE IN DIFFERENT COUNTRIES Comparison with France and Germany 1) # of direct banks Of which foreign # clients relationships [m] % of total clients relationships Deposit volumes [EUR bn] % of total deposit volumes Banks considered Less Advanced FRANCE B for Bank Boursorama Banque Cortal consors Fortuneo Bank ING Direct Monabanq Soon Tookam Direct 1) Considered sample represents >95% of banking relationships, Company annual reports developed a more extensive product offering and started to differentiate more. All leading direct banks have a specific focus (e.g. ING-DiBa s focus on call money and mortgages, DKB s focus on current accounts and credit cards and comdirect s focus on the comprehensiveness of its offering), but no bank is dominant in every product category. The development of flagship stores and advisory centers by direct banks in Germany is another element that underscores the maturity of the market. In contrast to Germany, direct banking penetration rates in France are only ~4%, or less than half those observed in Belgium. Part of the explanation may lie in the fact that France is characterized by a shortfall of deposits compared to Belgium s deposit surplus. This creates a less favorable context for foreign banks to BELGIUM Binckbank Bolero Cofidis Evi Fortuneo Keytrade Lynx Medirect Moneyou NIBC PSA Bank Rabobank Saxo Bank Stantander GERMANY ~4% ~10% ~21% ~35 ~20 ~180 ~3% ~8% ~11% 1822direkt comdirect Bank of Scotland BMW Bank Consorsbank DAB Bank DKB Fidor Bank ING-DiBa Mercedes-Benz Bank Netbank Onvista Volkswagen Bank More Advanced 4 5

4 DEPOSIT MARKET STRUCTURE BELGIUM ENJOYS A STRONG DEPOSIT SURPLUS WHICH EXPLAINS ITS ATTRACTIVENESS FOR FOREIGN DIRECT BANKS Relation between sovereign strength, funding gap and deposit prices [by country, 2012] Sovereign strength [CDS, in %] BE[1.25] 2% - 3% <2% DEPOSIT SURPLUS [XX] = Average interest rate on the market Source: EBF, Bloomberg, ECB, Roland Berger >3% 2% - 3% GE[1.44] D ES[2.6] AT[1.45] Funding Gap [in %] PO[3.13] FR[2.44] CY[4.39] IT[2.98] NL[3.01] SHORTFALL OF DEPOSITS SL[2.7] 1 establish a deposit raising direct bank in France. Most direct banks in France have indeed been established by large, existing French players. Unlike in Germany and Belgium, the direct value proposition in France is mostly based on an attractive daily banking offer (e.g. reduced fees on current accounts). Indeed, in most traditional banks current account charges are substantial, reaching between EUR 60 and EUR 200 per year. Direct banks, on the other hand, are able to charge clients 4 to 5 times less through their direct cost advantage and some do not charge fees at all. D In summary, a country s savings market structure and overall bank competition determine for a large part which direct bank models can florish and how successful they can become. In that respect, the German market shows interesting evolutions that are relevant for the future of the Belgian market. The French market is less comparable. These conclusions also show the complexity of developing multi-country direct bank models. Potential to almost triple penetration rate in Belgium within the next 5 years Overall, we expect the direct banking segment to continue to grow more rapidly than branch-based banking in Belgium. We estimate that more than 25% of the Belgian clients will have a relationship with a direct bank by 2020 based on five drivers for growth. FIRST, technological innovations will make it more convenient for customers to bank from a distance in the next years, especially via mobile channels. In general, e-commerce has been slow to develop in Belgium because mainstream Belgian customers still attach considerable importance to personal contacts. However, as digital natives will take over, technology adoption will become more wide-spread. By digitizing their processes, branch-based banks are in fact indirectly preparing their client base for a direct-only bank relation. SECOND, the average number of banking relationships per client continues to grow. When selecting a second or third bank, people will be more inclined to select a direct bank than another branch-based bank for diversification and price reasons. THIRD, the current direct players have in general a deposit volume objective, which causes them to become less aggressive once the volume target is achieved. This leaves room for new players to enter and drive the expansion of the market with (temporary) above-average attractive offers. FOURTH, our forecast is further supported by a 2014 survey by Roland Berger in Belgium, where more than a quarter of the respondents who are not yet client at a direct bank indicated to consider a direct bank to get more attractive rates. FIFTH, the penetration figures in more mature neighboring countries also indicate further growth potential in Belgium. On the other hand, the growth of direct banks is not a given. The current low interest rate environment makes the absolute interest advantage of direct banks so small that it discourages bank mobility. Moreover, profitability of direct bank models is in general limited or negative and relies on the (deep) pockets of the mother company that is also challenged by today s economic climate. Lastly, the digital transformation speed of traditional banks will also be a crucial parameter. If traditional banks succeed in offering similar levels of convenience as direct banks in the near future, the direct model loses one of its assets. It is likely that a large part of this growth will go to foreign players present in Belgium today. The impact on our competitive landscape and economy should be taken into account. Deposits or investment money attracted by foreign banks will not (always) be channeled towards the Belgian economy. In this context, it is important to ensure an equilibrium among national and international players and the financing of the Belgian economy. 6 7

5 Chapter 2 Direct banking clients STRATEGY PATTERNS OF DIRECT BANKS DIRECT BANKS ON THE BELGIAN MARKET SHOW IN GENERAL VERY SIMILAR STRATEGY PATTERNS 2 E MULTI-BANK CLIENTSHIP IN BELGIUM Bank clientship by type of bank TIER-1 BANKS Source: Survey 2014, Roland Berger Direct bank clients are often perceived as price-sensitive and thus less interesting. In reality, direct bank clients are more educated, earn higher wages and have more savings than average clients. In this respect, direct banks are thus primarily a threat for premium bank services rather than for mass retail services. Price-sensitive, affluent clients Compared to traditional banks, direct banks attract clients with a higher education and higher income. Indeed, it can be observed that 40% of the population earning a gross monthly salary of more than EUR 5,500 is client at a direct bank. This is reflected in client behavior on three aspects in particular. FIRST, whereas the average balance per savings account varies at traditional banks between EUR 10,000 and EUR 20,000, the balance at direct banks is typically around EUR 25,000 to EUR 30,000. SECOND, direct bank clients are more price elastic 1% 2% 2% 5% DIRECT BANKS 44% 14% TIER-2 BANKS 32% and switch banks more easily than the average traditional banking client. For direct banking clients, 9 out of 10 clients indicate that price is the reason for changing banks. In addition, 3 out of 4 confirmed to change to the direct bank with the highest interest rate. THIRD, whereas overall 1 out of 5 clients use comparison websites as main source of information on deposit prices, this figure is three times higher for direct banking clients. Second or third bank Multi-bancarisation is the phenomenon in which a single individual is client at multiple banks. It is rapidly becoming the standard rather than the exception in the Belgian banking landscape. Approximately 55% of Belgian banking clients are client at more than one bank, up from ~45% in The phenomenon is strikingly present at direct banks, which in general always act as a second or third bank. E Foreign banks establish a branch using the European passport Most foreign direct banks enter the Belgian market by establishing a local branch under the European passport legislation (e.g. Evi, Moneyou and MeDirect). The European passport regulation 1) allows EEA credit institutions to conduct business within the EEA either by providing cross-border services or by establishing a local branch. In both cases, no legal presence or local banking license is required in the host country and supervision is mainly carried out by the authority of the home country. Direct banks initial offering is limited to a selection of savings or investment products Direct banks enter with a limited range of products (e.g. one or two savings products) in order to avoid operational complexity at the start and to present clients with a simple, straightforward offering. 1) Article 25 to 28 of the Banking Directive (2006/48/EEC) New entrants offer the highest interest rate or low transaction costs Direct banks usually enter the market with the highest interest rate. Differences in rates at entry are usually marginal, which indicates that high entry rates are especially important for marketing reasons. Indeed, they allow new entrants to be listed first on comparator websites and draw public attention with limited marketing expenses. Similarly, direct banks focusing on brokerage usually offer low transaction costs. Simple and efficient processes are key Direct banks compete on convenience, especially with respect to opening a new account. Their client onboarding processes can be regarded as best practices in the market (e.g. use of e-id). Innovative marketing is an additional driver In order to attract clients, direct banks resort to innovative marketing initiatives. For instance, a direct bank in Belgium focusing on daily banking services offers clients 5 cents for every transaction completed with their account. Others have created a music platform to increase intimacy with a young target audience. F 8 9

6 3 F PRICE DIRECT BANKS PRICE POSITIONING UPON ENTERING THE BELGIAN MARKET Chapter 3 Future of direct banking 3.0% 2.5% 2.0% 1.5% 1.0% 0.5% Start NIBC 0.0% Q bp Q Average total interest rate offered on savings account [by bank, ] NIBC Moneyou Evi PSA Rabobank Tier-1 banks 1) Base rate + fidelity premium. Highest interest rate account for direct banks, average of classic savings account for Tier-1 banks (BNP Paribas Fortis, Belfius, KBC, ING) Q Start MoneYou Q Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Start Evi Q Q Q Start PSA Q We expect direct banks to clearly reposition themselves in the next years As mentioned earlier, four types of business models can be identified in the direct banking market: direct banks with a savings-focus, direct banks with a broker age/ investment-focus, direct banks with a daily banking focus and direct banks with a consumer finance focus Next to product offer, the positioning of direct banks on the market can also be discriminated based on their relationship with the client: does the bank act as 2nd / 3rd bank where the client cherry-picks selected products or does the bank attempt to position itself as a 1st bank and establish itself as home bank? We believe that based on the differences in product offer, target client relationship and context of the mother company, direct banking players will undergo different evolutions which will lead to a segmented direct banking market. G Direct banks will extend their savings/investment offering and start competing on service While today few players in Belgium have yet evolved away from their niche position, we expect direct banks to add more savings and investment products and services in the next years, while maintaining their attractive price proposition (extended offer on the graph G ). They can as such be regarded the ideal front end of asset managers. Rabobank is an example of a player that has already taken this step and offers a wide range of investment products beyond savings accounts, such as term accounts, branch 21-products, pension saving schemes, bonds and funds. Similarly, Keytrade offers most daily banking products on top of its brokerage and investments offering. In terms of daily banking products (payments, credit cards, ), direct banks will increasingly face competition from less traditional players (e.g. PayPal, new entrants), just like branch-centric banks do. A major question is whether direct banks will also start offering (standardized) mortgages. Technology will probably not be the hurdle, as clients will become familiar with more sophisticated forms of distance advice. However, mortgage profitability and balance sheet issues (liquidity, funding sources, ) will be far more difficult to resolve. Direct banks that are backed up by traditional banks with strong balance sheets, are the most likely ones to take this step. However, if they are already active in Belgium, they will cannibalize (part of) their own business. We also expect to see more competition based on service. This concerns for example quality of innovative self-advice and direct banking tools. It is furthermore also likely that these direct banks will move away from the execution-only model and will offer innovative forms of distance advice in a few years. As the direct banking market matures, it will reach its maximum potential of self-directed clients. The assumption is that there will be a portion of clients who will not be ready to move to direct banks, even if the service level is similar to traditional banks. Although this equilibrium is dynamic, direct banks will start to compete among themselves rather than against traditional banks as today, once the equilibrium is reached. This repositioning can already be observed in more mature markets like Germany and the UK. In the UK, First Direct (a division of HSBC) has been on the market since 1989 and originally focused on telephone banking

7 A major question is whether direct banks will also start offering (standardized) mortgages. Technology will probably not be the hurdle, as clients will become familiar with more sophisticated forms of distance advice. Today, it has evolved towards an internet-based, full product-range retail bank with more than one million customers and has built a distinctive brand image based on the quality of its service. It will be a substantial challenge to move towards a first bank Some direct banks will take on the substantial challenge of developing a first bank client relationship (moving towards upper right corner on the graph G ). While an expansion of the product offering is a prerequisite to move towards a primary client relationship, much more is required. First of all, being considered by clients as a primary bank requires investing in building a strong brand. Secondly, direct banks will need to set up some physical presence in the form of flagship stores in urban areas in order to inspire confidence. As indicated above, this is already happening in other countries. The pop-up bank concept is already used in Belgium. Thirdly, it will be very difficult to act as a first bank, without offering mortgages as discussed above. Finally, the scale of direct banks (number of clients) must dramatically increase to be sustainable. Because of these conditions, it is quite unlikely to see direct players, esp. the ones which are not supported by a local brick-and-mortar bank, succeeding in becoming a first bank anywhere soon. Traditional banks will feel increasingly compelled to react Broadly speaking, there have been three reactions of the traditional Belgian banks to direct banks so far. First, some banks have set-up a competing direct bank (, Bolero). In order to avoid cannibalization, this has been done via another brand. Second, other banks have created special direct-like offerings of products within their own brand (e.g. Belfius Pulse). The (past) high yield savings accounts of traditional banks can be regarded as such too. G DIRECT BANKS PLAYING FIELD AND EXPECTED DYNAMICS PRODUCT OFFER Full offer (savings and/or investment, daily banking, consumer loans, mortgages, insurance) Extended offer (savings and/or investment, daily banking) Niche offer (savings and/or investment) Savings focus Not economical Brokeragefocus 2nd / 3rd bank Extended banking offer Consumer finance offer Third, the most fundamental competitive response has been to transform the own model to match the convenience and speed of direct banks (e.g. ING Belgium). Speed of the transformation towards more convenience has been a key element to win the battle against direct banks. These reactions will probably not be sufficient any more in the future. As a consequence of the continued? Not achievable Not achievable First bank CLIENT RELATIONSHIP growth and entry of new players in the direct segment, direct banks will start to cause more substantial shifts in the profitable premium segments, the stronghold of brick-and-mortar banks. This means these traditional banks will increasingly lose cross-selling potential with clients in which they invested to obtain a first client relationship. This will force them to rethink their response

8 Conclusions H LIST OF CONSIDERED DIRECT BANKS ABOUT US The direct banking market in Belgium has slowly but surely conquered ground over the last ten years and we believe its growth will further accelerate in the coming five years to reach 25% of Belgian retail clients. Doing so, the market landscape is set for a significant change. Up until today, the recipe for market entry and positioning on the direct banking market has been rather uniform across players, focusing on price vs. traditional banks. In the coming years, direct banks will have to become better at differentiating on service. We are less optimistic about their chances to become a first bank. In the mid-term, the market will segment in omnichannel players vs. direct-only players, each with its own dynamics. In both markets, it will be paramount to occupy a long-term sustainable position. Especially for many direct players, this will require bigger investments than in the past, but it s uncertain whether all of them will be willing or able to put the money on the table to reach the required critical mass. H IN BELGIUM Binckbank Bolero Cofidis Evi Fortuneo Keytrade Lynx Medirect Moneyou NIBC PSA Bank Rabobank Saxo Bank Santander IN GERMANY 1822direkt comdirect Bank of Scotland BMW Bank Consorsbank DAB Bank DKB Fidor Bank ING-DiBa Mercedes-Benz Bank Netbank Onvista Volkswagen Bank IN FRANCE B for Bank Boursorama Banque Cortal consors Fortuneo Bank ING Direct Monabanq Soon Tookam Direct Roland Berger Strategy Consultants Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, founded in 1967, is the only leading global consultancy with German heritage and of European origin. With 2,400 employees working from 36 countries, we have successful operations in all major international markets. Our 50 offices are located in the key global business hubs. The consultancy is an independent partnership owned exclusively by 220 Partners. Further reading RETAIL BANKING Are banks prepared for a new turning point in the retail banking landscape? Continuous change and adaptation are inherent to the financial sector. In a world with a vast universe of trends, successful retail banks correctly anticipate key turning points in the banking landscape. In order to facilitate this complex task, Roland Berger developed the Retail Banking Wheel. THE FUTURE OF RETAIL BANKING IN EUROPE Top Executives Survey The survey aggregates the opinions of top executives in retail banks across Europe on key topics about the future of the sector. More than 60 banks across 15 countries were clustered into four large regions. In an uncertain economic context, European retail banks expect to further grow their deposit base, while credit perspectives are less clear. Nearly all respondents believe that ongoing branch consolidation will accelerate over next three years. RETAIL DEPOSITS Prepare for a bumpy ride To achieve success in the area of deposits and savings, banks need to strike a balance between deposit stability, bank profitability and client retention. Based on its project work with retail banks in Europe, Roland Berger has defined two new pillars upon which banks can develop their deposit and savings business: profiling client savings behavior and modeling the elasticity of savings volumes. Tablet version DOWNLOAD OUR APP To read our latest editions on your tablet, search for Roland Berger in the itunes App Store or at Google Play. Download the App for free. Links & likes ORDER AND DOWNLOAD STAY TUNED LIKE AND SHARE BergerStrategyConsultants

9 Publisher ROLAND BERGER STRATEGY CONSULTANTS Vorstlaan 100 boulevard du Souverain 100 B-1170 Brussels. Belgium Contributions INTERNATIONAL CONTRIBUTIONS FROM Jérôme Barrué, France Wolfgang Hach, Germany ANALYSIS SUPPORTED BY Aurélie Vanneste Joseph Fattouch The authors welcome your questions, comments and suggestions BRUNO COLMANT Partner GRÉGOIRE TONDREAU Partner KASPER PETERS (CONTACT POINT) Principal JOERI GUSSÉ Consultant FLORIE BRISBOIS Consultant This publication has been prepared for general guidance only. The reader should not act according to any information provided in this publication without receiving specific professional advice. Roland Berger Strategy Consultants GmbH shall not be liable for any damages resulting from any use of the information contained in the publication GMBH. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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