The upcoming restructuring of Bank Coop on May 20, 2017 is likely the most significant event in the 90-year history of the bank since its rebranding as Bank Coop from the Genossenschaftliche Zentralbank in 1995.
Once again the bank is being rebranded – this time from Bank Coop to Bank Cler. Swiss retail giant Coop is no longer a shareholder in the bank. Its share has been acquired by majority shareholder Basler Kantonalbank (BKB), which now holds a 75% stake in the bank.
The Romansh word “cler” translates into “clear” or “transparent”. The new branding will replace the Bank Coop branding in all branch offices at the end of May. Bank Cler will place a stronger emphasis on digital banking products than its predecessor. According to statements from Bank Coop, a range of new products will be accompany the restructuring. Other than that, the bank will remain focused on its current target clientele.
What will happen to the bank’s partnership with Coop?
The bank has confirmed that it will continue to work closely with Coop after the rebranding. The Supercard loyalty program will continue to be integrated into several of the bank’s products. ATMs currently present in Coop supermarkets will largely remain in place.
Still, there is no denying that the withdrawal of Coop as a shareholder and the removal of Coop branding will distance the bank from Coop customers. In this sense, the restructuring poses a certain amount of risk for the bank.
According to Benjamin Manz, CEO of moneyland.ch, the bank owes a substantial part of its customer base to its affiliation with Coop. While virtually all residents are familiar with the Coop brand, introducing a completely new bank brand in Switzerland will be challenging.
What can existing customers of Bank Coop expect?
Existing credit cards and debit cards issued by Bank Coop will continue to function normally and the existing contracts will remain valid after the restructuring. All new cards issued will bear the Bank Cler branding. Bank Coop account numbers and bank representatives will remain unchanged.
According to Bank Coop, existing customers can continue using their current banking services. Fees and charges, interest rates, term and conditions applicable to current users will not be affected for the time being.
However, an array of new services will be launched in May. Up until now, the products offered by Bank Coop have closely resembled those offered by the Basler Kantonalbank. With the rebranding, we can expect to see more unique solutions being offered which will differentiate Bank Cler from its parent bank.
In any case, current Bank Coop customers are invited to make use of the unbiased comparison tools on moneyland.ch to find the Swiss banking solutions which deliver the best value.
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