It is a campaign by the Aargauer Kantonalbank (AKB) that has been causing a stir since Wednesday. The AKB had blue footprints stuck to the floor. To show customers of Neue Aargauer Bank (NAB) the way to AKB. And that is wherever the NAB branches (a total of 14 will be closed) disappear and an AKB branch is nearby. Like on Landstrasse in Wettingen, where the competing banks are only a few hundred meters apart. Upon request, the cantonal bank will inform you that it is a spontaneous action. If the communities were bothered by this, the feet would be removed again.
This is just the latest example in a relentless battle for NAB’s jewels, both customers and employees. The fight began a good three months ago. On August 25, Credit Suisse (CS) announced the end of the NAB. Just a few days later, the scramble for customers and employees of NAB began, as an evaluation of advertisements shows. Just four days later, for example, Moneypark placed a full-page advertisement with the following content: “Dear NAB people, we also know about savings measures, but only with mortgage interest. We are looking for motivated advisors for our new branch at Bahnhofstrasse 7 in Baden. “
Up to 20 to NAB people will soon be working for BLKB in Fricktal
Hardly any traditional banking institute attacked the NAB workforce as aggressively as the specialist in mortgages, provision and real estate. Banks also aggressively communicated the obligation of former NAB people. For example the Basellandschaftliche Kantonalbank (BLKB). At the end of September, she announced that she would open two branches, one in Rheinfelden and one in Frick. The bank is seizing growth opportunities, “which arise due to changes in the regional banking landscape,” it said. At the request of AZ, BLKB made no secret of the fact that 15 to 20 former NAB employees had been poached, they would join them in early 2021.
Valiant announced that it had successfully poached staff from its competitors. The bank announced on November 17 that it was expanding into Freiamt. Martin Schertenleib from NAB was able to be won over as regional director for corporate customers, as was Alexander Müller. Other banks are also said to have made intensive efforts to recruit NAB employees. According to finews.ch, NAB people were sometimes lured with guaranteed bonuses. Nobody wants to officially confirm this.
Credit Suisse and Neue Aargauer Bank have so far together employed around 650 people in Aargau. With the full integration of the NAB into the CS, around 200 jobs are likely to be lost. From the cantonal finance and resources department, it is said: «We regret the dissolution of the NAB. The banks’ advertising shows that they are interested in Aargau as a location. “
This is of particular benefit to NAB students who have to fear for their jobs. Roberto Belci, the new boss at Credit Suisse Aargau, has so far received around 50 layoffs, as he says. Some went to the competition, some in a managerial position in an SME and some to trustees. In addition, NAB has found internal solutions for many employees within Credit Suisse, especially in Zurich. In general, Belci thinks: “I am extremely proud of my colleagues for how they have mastered this hectic time so far.”
Offensive on NAB customers: AKB advertises most regularly
NAB customers were recruited more aggressively than for employees. With sometimes quite provocative advertisements such as: “Wherever you decide for Aargau in Aargau, I am in the right place.” The swipe towards the Zurich-based CS cannot be ignored. While nobody advertised as regularly as AKB, the competition was in no way inferior to AKB in terms of tonality. “The only thing that has been canceled with us are bonuses for managers”, Migros Bank informed the Aargauer. It took second place in the ranking of most advertisements in the month after the NAB was closed. Closely followed by Valiant and Raiffeisen. While Valiant advertised in the first few days after the announced end of the NAB, Raiffeisen and Migros Bank only followed after almost two weeks and a month respectively.
The major bank UBS is reluctant to advertise for the favor of NAB customers. They deliberately did not take part in the advertising battle. But they by no means remained inactive. “Since the end of the lockdown, we have been able to acquire an above-average number of new customers,” says UBS Regional Director Thomas Sommerhalder. He acts in a competitive way, is “tough and fair”. So he does not rule out that NAB people will be hired in the future. But: “We certainly did not approach your people specifically.”
The competition remains silent about the number of former NAB customers. The Aargauische Kantonalbank only announces: “We have doubled our new customers.” So at NAB we ask: How many customers have you lost? About two percent of the 250,000 or so customers turned away, says Roberto Belci. Corporate customer boss Robin Wasser adds: “Most of the companies have assured us that they will continue to work together after discussions.” So there has not yet been a great exodus.