Best private bank in Portugal

The pandemic has accelerated much needed digitalisation in private banking and Millennium bcp has more than doubled the number of digital users of both its mobile banking and securities trading apps. “Without this ‘push’, we wouldn’t have achieved nearly as much as we did,” says Rui Coimbra, private banking general manager at the Portuguese institution. “Under lockdown for several months, the need to stay close to our clients forced us to be creative and use different communication formats.”

The bank introduced several virtual events while also adapting internal procedures to the new digital environment. The result was a significant growth in net new money, boosting client assets, as well as the number of new clients. Growth opportunities come especially from non-resident, high-income citizens who establish their tax residence in Portugal. Currently, more than two-thirds of the private bank’s new customers are foreigners. Lending also plays an important role, since many of these customers seek to acquire high value properties. A key client segment are also individuals seeking to obtain ‘Golden visas’, either through financial investment or venture capital funds. Providing a “service of excellence” in account opening and lending enables the bank to gain clients’ trust, and broaden the relationship to asset management, which is the core business of the private bank. Yet, the bank strives to be perceived not just as an asset management operation, but “the first bank that comes to peoples’ mind”, be it to have their salaries or pensions paid into or pay their bills, be it for lending or investment advice needs. To achieve this goal, Millennium bcp aims to improve its business model to find the ideal balance between human and digital. Moreover, its dedicated acquisition department will have to not only acquire new clients but also allocate them to the correct branch and most suitable relationship manager. ET