Banca Popolare di Sondrio (Suisse) – BPS Suisse

Origin of BPS (Suisse)

BPS SuisseBanca Popolare di Sondrio was founded as a cooperative corporation in 1871 in Sondrio, Valtellina, Italy. In 1991 the bank opened a subsidiary in Lugano. This subsidiary was replaced by BPS Suisse in 1995. BPS Suisse is still 100% owned by Banca Popolare di Sondrio. BPS Suisse has 19 branches in Switzerland and one subsidiary in Monaco. BPS Suisse is heavily represented in the Canton of Grisons with seven subsidiaries.

BPS (Suisse) is a Swiss bank with Italian roots. The bank has a lot of Swiss clients but also a lot of first- second- and third generation Italians for whom Switzerland has become their home country.

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Philosophy and Strategy
The bank places a particular focus on retail banking, private banking and general banking and financial services. “Giving is receiving” is the philosophy of the bank. The money saved should flow back into the region where the bank operates to support families in the area with loans and credit lines and also to support the regional real economy. One strategy the bank wants to implement is an integrated digital banking system and tailoring their offerings to the different client demand.

Outside of the urban areas, the bank downsized its commercial activities. One of the banks top priority is information technology. Mortgage-related tasks have been automated and the time spent on each case could be reduced significantly.

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Services and Solutions
Banca Popolare di SondrioBPS (Suisse) offers a variety of services to their clients, who are mainly retail clients or small and medium companies. The facilities include wealth management, investment advisory services, asset management for institutional clients, participation in the financial markets with tools for transactions on competitive terms and with excellent information, security and reporting standards, custody and control services for the client’s securities.

An essential part of BPS (Suisse) business are mortgages and Lombard loans. Popso (Suisse) is an umbrella fund registered in Luxembourg. The fund has 13 sub-funds to choose from, investing in fixed income, convertible bonds, absolute return, and equities.

Risk Management
The management of BPS has analyzed the risks to which the bank is exposed. The internal control system of the bank is used by the Board of Directors to examine the risk exposure. Risk management is an essential part of the bank’s policy. The aim is to improve profitability, increase the bank’s value and preserve resources. The General Management identifies risks and informs the Board of Directors accordingly.

Risks are divided into market risk, credit risk, liquidity risk, operational risk, strategic risk and reputation risk. The bank sets prudential collateral margins to control the credit risk. The credit risk is divided into ten risk classes, one being the best and 8 being the worst rating. Market risk is affected by the value of the positions the bank holds such as equities, raw materials or foreign exchange positions. Operational risk is the cause of technical errors or human mistakes.

Liquidity risk is the ability to sell an asset quickly and close to the market price. Potential legal problems are covered in the legal risk. Clients mainly hold derivative instruments and not by the bank. The bank might from time to time involve in interest rate swaps with the parent company for balance sheet purposes.

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Added-Value Services
GoBanking is the online banking system of BPS. During 2017 several updates were made to make the system more secure and efficient and ready for future enhancements. BPS (Suisse) manages an investment fund under Luxembourg law called Popso (Suisse) Investment Fund SICAV. The fund manages 764.7 mm CHF. BPS (Suisse) has a well-functioning call and contact center.

This area can be viewed as an additional branch, called Direct Banking. The client has a significant advantage because he doesn’t have to appear personally in the bank. Phone or internet can do most of the business. The transactions can be executed more efficiently and quick. The call and contact center can be reached by phone during weekdays from 8:30 to 17:30 or by e-mail. Culture is an essential value for the bank.

Every annual report is dedicated to a famous person with ties to Italy and Switzerland. In 2017 the annual report is covering the history and biography of Clay Regazzoni, a Swiss racecar driver, who died 67 years old in 2006 in a massive car crash.

BPS Suisse – Banca Popolare di Sondrio – Facts & Figures

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Address Via Maggio 1
6900 Lugano
Phone +41 58 855 31 00
Year of foundation 1995
Subsidiaries 20
No. of employees 316
Arab Bank PLC
Fitch BBB
Chairman Mario Alberto Pedranzini
Shareholder’s equity 361.3 mm CHF
Assets under Management 3.008 bn CHF
Assets under Management / Employees 9.52 mm CHF
Net profit 14.21 mm CHF
Net Profit / Employees 44’968 CHF
Tier 1 Ratio 16.2 %
Cost / Income Cost Ratio (CIR) 74.7 %
CEO Mauro De Stefani

Source: Annual Report 2017

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Few banks do not disclose their Annual Reports to the public. Therefore, we collected reliable information on a best-efforts basis. We renounced to collect information from unreliable sources. Until today, Swiss law does not impose the duty of publication to the banks as it is the case in the EU. Therefore, for a few banks, the information from the annual reports was not summarized and published.

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