Cross Selling in European Retail Banking

August 31, 2001


Paris, France 27th August 2001

Cross-Selling In European Retail Banking : Strategic Lessons For Incumbents

A survey of 20 leading European banks reveals that cross-sell ratios for online customers of traditional banks is up to 20% higher than the average. However, mounting e-business skepticism amongst incumbents is putting future performance at risk

In a new report entitled Cross-Selling In European Retail Banking, Celent Communications examines the disparities in cross-sell ratios between major European countries and financial institutions. The report goes on to analyse the strategies adopted by leading retail banks to increase their cross-sell ratios. Two in-depth case studies of Egg (UK) and Banque Directe (France) show how these e-ventures have managed to increase their cross-sell ratios despite the absence of face-to-face interactions with their clients. 

"As incumbents encourage customers to turn to self-service channels, cross-sell initiatives are more likely to fail because these channels lack human interaction" comments Gwenn B騷ard, author of the report. In trying to reduce cost and improve the branches' efficiency, banks have spent time and money persuading clients to use self-service channels. Officially, traditional banks claim they are dedicated to serving their clients through any channels. However, switching the 80% least profitable clients to automatic channels for low added-value transactions is their real goal. The challenge is to increase cross-selling amongst mass market customers while making them rely more on direct channels. 

"While the cross-sell ratio of traditional banks clearly outpaces those of their e-competitors, incumbents have to leverage their e-business strategy to keep increasing their cross-sell ratios" states Gwenn B騷ard. Today, this challenge seems largely underestimated by European banks. A review of 20 traditional retail banks in Europe revealed that e-business teams are almost never involved in their institutions' cross-sell strategy. 85% of e-business officers have an unclear vision of the cross-selling strategy of their bank. "Such situation reflects the low integration of e-business technologies within the whole retail banking operation, with most banks running branch and phone-based CRM applications" points out Gwenn B騷ard.

Based on best-of-breed cross-sellers experience, the Celent report charts the technology and business strategies incumbents will have to employ to sustain their cross-selling ratios in the next five years.

The report reviews cross-selling strategies in France, Germany, UK, Scandinavia, Italy, Portugal, and Spain.

A Table of Contents is available online.

of Celent Communication's Retail Banking research services can download the report electronically by clicking on the icon to the left.


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Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

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Table of Contents



  Paris, France 27th August 2001

Cross-Selling In European Retail Banking

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