On May 19, 2017, Bank Coop was officially rebranded as Bank Cler. The rebranding has been accompanied by a new marketing approach. The bank aims to appeal to customers looking for “uncomplicated” products. Bank Cler’s marketing campaigns largely target a young audience.
Most products remain unchanged
moneyland.ch performed an in-depth study of Bank Cler’s products. The verdict: The new products closely resemble those offered by Bank Coop.
In terms of services, costs, terms and conditions, the majority of products are similar to those offered prior to the rebranding. Some services – such as securities brokerage – remain complicated for the average customer. Some products are identical to their Bank Coop predecessors.
How interest rates compare
At 0.4% per annum, the interest paid by Bank Cler’s 3a retirement savings account is average (customers with bank packages earn 0.5% interest). The 0.1% interest paid by the bank’s vested benefits account is below average. The interest paid by the regular savings account is average at 0.05%, while the interest paid by the Supercard savings account (0.1% plus Superpoints) and the Plus savings account (0.1% plus interest bonus) is slightly above average.
The “Exclusive” tiered interest savings account pays somewhat higher interest, but only comes as part of a paid package. The 0.5% interest (on up to CHF 25,000) offered by Bank Cler’s youth account is slightly below the average.
Mortgages and loans
The mortgages offered by Bank Cler have also been carried over from Bank Coop. Along with the classic fixed rate mortgages (mortgage terms of 1 to 10 years), variable mortgages, LIBOR-based mortgages and building loans, the Start mortgage, Supercard mortgage and energy-efficient mortgage have remained in the mortgage lineup.
A moneyland.ch analysis revealed that in recent months, base rates for fixed rate mortgages from Bank Coop have been notably higher than the Swiss average. Whether or not this interest strategy will remain in place in the future is not yet known. Bank Cler brokers personal loans from Cashgate.
Accounts and payment cards
Bank Cler’s private accounts and payments cards also bring little new to the table. Its standard private account remains somewhat cheaper than the Swiss average while the costs of its youth account are average. The costs of its business accounts remain higher than the industry average. The credit card lineup is still made up of standard Viseca cards.
The costs of the bank packages offered are similar to those of package deals offered by other banks. Package fees are either CHF 11 per month for the Classic package (CHF 14 with paper communications), CHF 14 per month for the Comfort package (CHF 20 with paper communications) and CHF 39 per month for the Premium package (CHF 45 with paper communications). A 50% discount applies to mortgage customers and those with CHF 100,000 or more invested in the bank.
Stock brokerage and wealth management
The brokerage services offered by Bank Cler (via e-banking and e-deposit) remain complex and are still among the most expensive in Switzerland – as shown by the moneyland.ch online broker comparison. Investors who make certain types of transactions regularly may pay up to five times more in fees compared to using the cheapest broker.
The most significant changes to fees which accompanied the rebranding can be found in Bank Cler’s wealth management services for private customers. With a flat-rate fee of 1.2% (1.1% when assets exceed CHF 1 million), the costs of the bank’s wealth management services are low compared to the Swiss average. However, some Swiss robo advisory services charge fees as low as 0.5%.
Comparing is key
Bank Cler’s savings accounts, private accounts, retirement accounts, mortgages, credit cards, brokerage services and wealth management services have already been integrated into the online moneyland.ch comparison tools. Getting a clear and unbiased overview of how products compare to those offered by other Swiss banks can benefit current and prospective customers.