Overall, the Retail Banking sector has handled the pandemic well. Massive efforts were made to continue to service clients, despite many obstacles, and the local retail banks provided special ‘covid loans’ and worked with the government to create special state-guaranteed loans to support businesses during the pandemic.

Trends already identified in recent years continue, with stable employment figures and client numbers, increased assets and lending. As expected, there are major changes in customer behaviour due to the health pandemic, particularly with the use of digital solutions for financial transactions.

Growth in assets

Money under management (assets and liabilities) increased by 9.3%, demonstrating that clients continued to borrow during 2020, mainly for real estate projects. Cash withdrawals from ATMs fell by 25%, whilst cash withdrawals in branch fell by a massive 51%, as physical cash was generally avoided in favour of card and contactless payments.

Asset distribution

The majority of assets are held on current or savings accounts, with no significant shift to investment products. Overall spending is down, due to the slowdown of the economy and a more cautious consumer behaviour linked to the health pandemic.

Digital solutions

Unsurprisingly, e-banking use is up significantly (7%). It should be noted that the most significant increase (32%) comes from professionals (self-employed, liberal professions..). Whilst this is a continuation of an already existing trend, it has been accelerated by the pandemic.