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Underrated giants in the region

Underrated giants in the region

With the acquisition of Credit Suisse by UBS, the Raiffeisen Group has moved to second place among retail banks in Switzerland. Now a study has taken a closer look at the heavyweights among Raiffeisen’s more than 220 banks.

The Swiss Raiffeisen Group consists of about 220 individual cooperative banks. The vast majority of them are small establishments usually known only to their local customers. But not only their size, financial institutions should not be underestimated: this has been shown by scientists from the University of Applied Sciences Lucerne (HSLU), who owned the 15 largest banks in Raiffeisen in one year. Stady Take a closer look and make comparisons with other similarly sized banks.

Balance sheets from 4.1 to 2.1 billion francs

Overall, the Raiffeisen Group has total assets of 280.6 billion francs (as of the end of 2022). As second place behind UBS, it beats Zürcher Kantonalbank (CHF199.8 billion) and PostFinance (CHF114.4 billion).

According to the list compiled by the HSLU, Raiffeisen Sion et Région is the largest single bank within the group with total assets of 4.1 billion francs, followed by Moléson with 3.8 billion francs.

Raiffeisen Zurich, which was founded only at the beginning of the year and was separated from Raiffeisen Switzerland, comes in third place with 3.2 billion francs, with Raiffeisen Geneva in fourth place. The other institutes on the list, such as those in St. Gallen, Winterthur, Nidwalden or Tagruelln in canton Thurgau, are similar in terms of total assets. Raiffeisen-Rige still has about 2.1 billion francs.

Effective by comparison

In their analysis, the authors also looked at the benefit margin and cost-income ratio (CIR). In order to compare the efficiency of individual institutions with the efficiency of the group as a whole, they analyzed a group of eight similarly sized banks and the average value of retail banks as a whole.

The average interest margin at Raiffeisen’s 15 largest banks is 1.09 percent. This is on par with the entire Raiffeisen group (1.11%) and similarly sized retail banks (1.09%). The average for all retail banks in Switzerland is slightly higher, at 1.15 percent.

(Source: HSLU)

At 50.09 per cent, the Raiffeisen banks under consideration performed better in loan interest rates than the group (55.57 per cent), the comparison group (56.40 per cent) and the retail banks as a whole (57.54 per cent). When it comes to efficiency, the institutes are actually giants in the region.

About 1,100 employees

The study concluded that the importance of some banks in the Raiffeisen Group should in no way be underestimated. They will have balance sheet sizes and numbers of employees that are comparable to smaller cantonal banks or medium-sized regional banks. They are also important employers: Raiffeisen’s 15 largest banks together employ around 1,100 people (full-time equivalent).

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