,  Press Release

PostFinance speeds up digital transformation

PostFinance will focus on four key priorities in the forthcoming “SpeedUp” strategy period. They will be driven forward in independent business units: Payment Solutions, Retail Banking, Digital First Banking and Platform Business. As well as investment in new business areas, the efficiency of existing structures and processes will be further improved in an effort to stabilize the financial result. Headcount is to be reduced by around 130 full-time equivalents and employment contract changes are set to be implemented for around 260 employees by the end of 2021. At the same time, around 80 new jobs will be created.

PostFinance’s earnings before tax have been falling sharply for several years due to negative market interest rates and the lending prohibition. By pursuing its new strategy, the financial services provider aims to halt this negative trend and to stabilize earnings before tax. However, in the current interest-rate environment and under the currently applicable legal and regulatory conditions, PostFinance will fail to achieve the results of previous years despite a clear focus, efficiency increases and investments.

“Despite falling profits, we have successfully implemented various projects during the current strategy period and are well positioned to speed up the digital transformation,” says CEO Hansruedi Köng. PostFinance has one of the most modern core banking systems in the Swiss financial center. This will enable it to bring innovations to market even more rapidly in future. PostFinance has also significantly expanded and modernized its range of products by launching, for example, the self-service hub in the PostFinance App, the new e-finance log-in and digital investment solutions.

Even closer to customers thanks to four independent business units

PostFinance’s core business will now be divided into four business units. They will act largely autonomously and develop their business independently of one another and at their own pace. This will enable each unit to focus even more consistently on the specific requirements of their customers. Customers have different expectations in terms of the type of advice, the level of digitization of products and services and the speed of product development in the various areas of banking.

Payment Solutions

In payment transactions, PostFinance will become the leading reliable partner for payment and debt collection solutions for retailers and invoice issuers in Switzerland.

Retail Banking

In Retail Banking, PostFinance provides its private and business customers with proven solutions and advice on the smartest way to manage money – both physically and digitally.

Digital First Banking

In Digital First Banking, PostFinance is launching a radically new, completely digitally designed range of services for “Banking & Beyond” over the course of the coming year.

Platform Business

In Platform Business, PostFinance aims to make Valuu the leading independent Swiss platform for comparing and purchasing financing, insurance and pension solutions.

2020 consultation process

In the current negative interest environment and due to the lending prohibition, PostFinance can only improve its earnings situation to a limited extent over the short term. A return on the investments in new business areas can also only be achieved over the medium term. To allow PostFinance to stabilize its result and to avoid slipping into the red, it must improve efficiency in terms of costs. As a result, it is planning a reduction in headcount of around 130 full-time equivalents by the end of 2021. Employment contract changes will also be implemented for around 260 employees for organizational reasons.

The planned job cuts mean a consultation process must be carried out. As part of this procedure the employees concerned will have the opportunity to put forward proposals on how to avoid or limit redundancies or mitigate the impact. PostFinance’s Executive Board will assess the proposals received on an ongoing basis and make a final decision on whether and to what extent the planned measures will be implemented at the end of November.

PostFinance recognizes its social responsibility

PostFinance is aware that the forthcoming changes may cause uncertainty and anxiety amongst employees and also recognizes its social responsibility as a company. It takes this role seriously. Any headcount reduction should be achieved, as far as possible, by means of natural fluctuation, expiring temporary employment relationships and (early) retirements. If job cuts were to be made, an extensive redundancy plan drawn up with the social partners would be implemented.

As not all employees are affected by the planned changes to the same extent, different measures have been defined to provide the workforce with individual and personal support over the coming period. At the end of October 2020 various virtual events will be held at which the members of the Executive Board will provide all employees with detailed information about the impact of the planned job cuts. Anyone who is directly affected will be provided with close support from HR to identify prospects and find socially acceptable solutions.

PostFinance plans to make substantial investments in a new digital bank and in the development of the platform business over the coming years. It will require additional staff with a broad range of competencies. Around 80 new jobs will therefore be created in an exciting digital environment.