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Migrant communities represent major new customer pool for banks when targeted properly, say Kurt Salmon and Efma

A new Efma and Kurt Salmon report on the banking needs of migrant communities demonstrates that these communities can benefit banks suffering from slow customer growth patterns. European banks that nurture migrant relationships effectively from the outset can successfully build up a large and growing new customer base. Ultimately, community-specific marketing and engagement – and the recognition that different migrant groups have different banking needs - is the most effective way to capture the migrant market.

With a population nearing 32 million, migrants make up 10% of the European labour force. This sizable demographic group, expected to grow significantly in the coming decades, can provide a pool of new customers to banks if marketed to effectively, according to the report. Due to the difficulties that banks have in attracting new customers among the general populace, the migrant market can play an integral role in generating new business for banks, second only to the youth market.

Banks have had limited success in conquering the migrant banking market due to their focus on remittance programs designed to help migrants transfer money to their home countries. However, banks that engage with migrants during the initial settlement period and provide domestic banking services in their new countries have been far more successful in building these relationships.

The report revealed the most successful community-specific endeavours to be those that take an affinity approach, aimed at recognizing the unique needs of migrant groups that otherwise go ignored. Hiring advisors from within migrant communities has proven valuable in building trust between banks and networks of migrants, while catering to the varying requirements of different migrant groups is key. For example, the availability of Islamic finance services has proven particularly successful in gaining new migrant customers with such services growing at an estimated 15% per year.

If banks hope to tap into this considerable new customer base, they will need to tailor their marketing campaigns and offerings to provide migrants with domestic banking services that meet various cultural and religious needs. Further, they will need to engage closely with individual communities to build a level of trust between the banker and the migrant customer.

Patrick Desmarès, Secretary General of Efma, commented on the report: “The migrant banking market is complex, because it cannot be perceived as a single segment. Each community has its own culture, its own relationship with money and its own integration goals.

“It is obvious that the challenge is less about the product offerings and more about the ways in which banks engage with the migrant communities. Having advisors from different migrant communities in branches of their local neighbourhoods is probably the best way for a bank to gain the migrants’ trust.”

Alexis Beau, Manager, Kurt Salmon commented: “In the context of increasing retail banking market saturation in Europe, the migrants market appears to be a growth driver for European banks. However, with few exceptions, they do not seem to have explored all the potential of this market.

“Nevertheless, some developmental models aimed at capturing the market, identified through banks in both host countries and origin countries have caught our attention, with a common denominator: an affinity approach that reflects a deep understanding of the migrant market.”

About Kurt Salmon
Kurt Salmon, formed by the merger of Kurt Salmon Associates and Ineum Consulting, is a global management consultancy of more than 1,600 consultants in 15 countries across five continents. Our clients are industry leaders who benefit from our deep industry and functional expertise.
As trusted advisors, Kurt Salmon partners with clients to design, and then drive, strategies and solutions that make lasting and meaningful impact. We are committed to delivering measurable results for our clients through executional excellence.
Kurt Salmon is a company of Management Consulting Group.

About Efma
Efma, a not-for-profit association formed in 1971 by bankers and insurers, specialises in retail financial marketing and distribution. Today, more than 3,000 brands in 130 countries are Efma members including over 80% of Europe’s largest retail financial institutions.
Efma offers the retail financial service community exclusive access to a multitude of resources, databases, studies, articles, news feeds and publications. Efma also provides numerous networking opportunities through work groups, online communities and international meetings.

Jeudi 15 Décembre 2011

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