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13.06.2024 – We are simply a bank – Valiant to focus even more on simplicity and profitability

13/06/2024, 
Ad hoc announcement pursuant to Art. 53 LR

We are simply a bank – Valiant to focus even more on simplicity and profitability

Valiant is building on its past achievements and continuing its development. The bank aims to increase profitability and continue its growth with its Strategy 2025–2029. Valiant inspires its clients through its simplicity and its transparent offering. Services for SMEs and advice on asset accumulation and pension provision for private clients are being strengthened. The bank is also investing in employee development and sustainability.

Valiant is building on the successes of its previous strategies in its 2025–2029 strategy period. “They established the basis for further growth and Valiant’s ongoing development through investments in expansion and digitalisation,” says Chairman of the Board of Directors Markus Gygax. As part of the expansion, a total of 21 branches have been opened since 2016 and the branch network has been expanded from Lake Geneva to Lake Constance. At the same time, Valiant has strengthened its advisory expertise by creating 185 new positions for client advisors. In doing so, Valiant has developed from a regional bank into a nationwide financial services provider for private clients and SMEs.

On the right path
“The satisfaction of our clients plus the strong figures confirm that we are on the right path. That’s why we have followed our vision again for the new strategy period, which is to make financial life as simple as possible for our clients,” adds CEO Ewald Burgener. Valiant wants to use this optimal platform to achieve further growth going forward and increase profitability with five strategic thrusts.

Increase in profitability and five strategic thrusts
The Strategy 2025–2029 builds on the investment of CHF 100 million in digitalisation and expansion since 2016 and stays true to the successful, simple business model. Increased profitability is the overarching goal. Valiant wants to generate a return on equity that is higher than capital costs and thus create economic value. In so doing, the focus will be on simplicity, earnings diversification, greater efficiency, employee advancement and sustainability. The key factors for success remain a local presence and personal advice. 

1. Inspire with simplicity 
Valiant wants to inspire its clients. They must be able to contact their bank easily – through any method or channel. “The products and services will continue to be based on simplicity in line with our value proposition “We are simply a bank”. That includes a balanced combination of personal advice and self-service based on the needs of our clients,” says Ewald Burgener. In parallel, pricing must be clear and transparent for clients. 

2. Diversify earnings
Valiant wants to continue to grow. As an SME bank with a longstanding tradition, the value proposition for SMEs needs to be broadened. This applies particularly to entrepreneurs,‏ who must be supported in their daily work with a comprehensive offering. Valiant will also develop its advisory service for asset accumulation and pension provision for private clients. An expansion of the range of services in the partner business is also planned.

3. Increase efficiency 
Valiant has already achieved substantial, annually recurring savings in the current strategy period. The bank will continue to closely monitor cost development going forward. In an environment of constantly changing client needs, the whole company is focusing on lean, consistent processes and increased automation. Simplified processes and standard interfaces will raise productivity. “That way we ensure that we have the necessary freedom to act for the future and use the skills and knowledge of our employees in a targeted way,” stresses Markus Gygax. 

4. Acquire and develop employees
Valiant is an attractive employer and has very well qualified staff. Valiant does not just want to retain its staff but to develop them in a focused way. The employees’ individual development potential is expanded accordingly. “We also want to orient our corporate culture towards the strategic goals of simplicity, efficiency and earnings diversification,” adds Ewald Burgener. 

5. Promote sustainability 
Valiant is aware of its responsibility in dealing with people, resources and corporate governance and acts accordingly. Valiant ensures its appeal to investors by adhering to ESG guidelines. Business activities are being oriented more closely towards sustainability. CO2 management is at the forefront as a key element of this. Furthermore, Valiant promotes the equal treatment of its staff and establishes flexible models to improve the compatibility of family and career. Through these measures, Valiant aims to increase the share of women in management positions.

Add value for shareholders
“We will add value for our shareholders and increase the dividend annually through the targeted growth and efficiency improvements,” says Markus Gygax. Valiant has set itself the goal of achieving a return on equity that exceeds capital costs. The total capital ratio is to remain between 15 and 17% in future, and a payout ratio of at least 50% is being targeted. Valiant wants to achieve all this without changing its prudent risk policy.

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