Area strategy

In 2010 South America achieved highly positive rates of activity and income, without any worsening in asset quality. This was the result of the regional plans that included the re-launch of the business (improved lending, increasing the customer base and increasing the loyalty of customers with greater credit quality), improved service, cross-selling, better risk screening, improved structures for monitoring and collection and more weight given to alternative channels.

For 2011, the area will continue to work along the same lines in order to benefit from the strong growth in banking activity in an environment of increasingly tighter margins due to the high level of competition. Expansion and differentiation plans are underway to this end. Their objectives are summed up below:

  • Growth and differentiation plan for individuals. A regional program is underway to increase the volume of new customer funds attracted, build customer loyalty and improve brand recognition. The program is taking advantage of the demographic changes in the economic population that is relevant for the Group.
  • Growth and differentiation plan for companies and SMEs. The aim is to increase the number of customers and the volume of profitable business. This involves carrying out segmentation according to sales levels, and focusing on those sectors with the greatest future. A management model is being introduced based on specialized managers and distribution channels, and specific risk and price circuits. This is supported by a range of products and services of value, with more improvements in service quality, a close relationship with customers and speed of response.
  • Growth and differentiation plan in pensions, with a focus on the traditional levers: improved regulatory management, protection of market share and optimization of fees. Work is also underway to optimize structures in order to improve efficiency. The main focus will be on voluntary saving products, in which the product range will be improved and there will be a greater stress on retaining customers with greatest value.

Progress will also be made in:

  • Improving the customer knowledge system. First, using customer insight to identify the specific needs of each segment and each market. And second, by increasing business intelligence as a key to increase customer loyalty.
  • Improving management models to stimulate the network’s commercial activity and the productivity of the direct and automatic channels. This will be done through a complete overhaul of all the commercial process tools and improved contracting processes, which will have a direct impact on the generation of business.
  • A multi-channel model, involving investment in the branch network and an optimization of mass channels (particularly self-service) in order to reduce the pressure on the sales forces and enhance the capacity for service and efficiency.

As in the rest of the Group’s areas, this will be supported by technology.