Fineco pushes on digital for ‘new investors’

FinecoBank, the multichannel direct bank and advisory services provider of the UniCredit group, has seen a surge in profits since the IPO in 2014 and is poised for new challenges.

Fineco CEO and general manager Alessandro Foti recently said that the bank’s success is to be linked with new investor behaviour and needs in the digital era.

This came after the bank reported net profit of €55.1m in Q3 2015 versus €35.4m in the year earlier period.

“We are working to keep Fineco up to the challenges posed by a market like Italy, where the asset management industry is big in volume, but investors have always relied on traditional investments,” he says.

However, Foti points out that the low yield environment has led Italian investors to face new challenges and pushed them to reconsider their approach not only to investments but also to getting investment advice.

Quoting a survey from the Italian banking association Abi, Foti says the use of online tools has gone up by 82% in 2015 alone. Great news for a business like FinecoBank which offers an integrated business model combining direct banking and financial advice.

Effectively, it joins together a brokerage online platform and a more traditional one-to-one advisory service where investors can both make their decisions online and meet advisers in person should they need help for a more structured asset allocation.

“Digitalisation is a crucial point in our development process and, we believe, a great strong point compared to other market players in Italy. We are the biggest European broker in terms of number of executed orders. The IPO went very well and it obviously helped us significantly boost our credibility in the market,” Foti explains.

FinecoBank’s client base mainly constitutes mass affluent and private banking clients, although the company does not impose a minimum investment threshold.

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