RCB’s strategy of diversifying its clientele and embracing digital transformation has placed it in a strong position as the Cyprus economy emerges from lockdown.
Moody’s in May affirmed RCB bank’s B1 rating, noting that it had a stable outlook, and was seeing success in both domestic and international markets, and a low level of non-performing loans.
The Cyprus Mail asked RCB’s executives to explain how their strategy was working now that the island’s economy has emerged from lockdown.
“RCB Bank’s strategy for developing its online and digital services, that started being implemented before the Covid-19 crisis, proved extremely helpful in continuing to provide a high level of service to its clientele. We have stood by our clients throughout the pandemic, and continue to do so.”
One of the pillars of development for RCB Bank is the digitalisation of its operations as well as new digital products and services which experienced further boost and an increased demand during the pandemic.”
The bank points out that in 2019, it increased its domestic business by 10 per cent growth in terms of active clients, 28 per cent in terms of domestic deposits and 22 per cent in terms of domestic loans.
Given these achievements, our strategy, while adjusted, continues to be attracting more clients and businesses from the Bank’s target segments, that is corporate and professionals from Cyprus and Europe.
“It is important to note once again that our portfolio in Cyprus is diversified with clients from important pillars of the economy such as tourism, energy, manufacturing, education, retail and others. We do not expect any of our clients to have suffered detrimental consequences when the crisis is over. In the international market, we focus on European clients.”
For the past several years, RCB Bank has been developing its digital banking platforms, and these were put to the test during the pandemic. Today, the bank is well positioned to address the increasing needs of its clients for remote banking.
“We maintain modern Internet and mobile banking platforms and are a pioneer in mobile payments via smartphones through Apple pay and Android platforms in Cyprus. It should also be noted that RCB Bank is a major player in merchant acquiring business in the country.”
The bank does not plan to develop trading as a major source of income.
“RCB Bank does not focus on trading as a source of business. It is the bank’s belief that the risks involved with trading the money of depositors are high. RCB Bank strives to serve its clients and Cyprus businesses and their transactional banking needs. This is the core of the business model that RCB Bank follows. Given the low interest environment in Europe, all banking institutions are diversifying their operations with fee and commission-based products and services.”
RCB notes that Cyprus poses specific challenges, and is focused on them.
“Cyprus is from a banking perspective a very challenging market. RCB Bank is of the view that to be successful, one must be focused. The Bank Ltd was focused from the very beginning on corporate, professional and private banking clients. Our strategy is to continue to operate within those segments and does not involve any expansion into mass retail banking.”