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Canaries play leading role as Caixa unveils its new HolaBank concept 

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The Canary Islands are playing a major role as CaixaBank launches HolaBank in a bid to establish itself as leader among international clients in Spain.

The new customised service model features a network of over 100 branches, staffed by specialist account managers and offering specific products and services in several languages.

There are 36 HolaBanks in the Canaries, 18 in the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and 18 in the province of Las Palmas.

CaixaBank currently serves 375,000 international customers but wants to achieve a market penetration of 25 per cent within four years.

Juan Antonio Alcaraz, Chief Business Officer at CaixaBank, stated that HolaBank will help the bank “to cater to a group of clients with very specific needs, providing an innovative, comprehensive and high quality range of products and services”.

The multichannel banking strategy ensures that HolaBank customers will be able to use their accounts 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The new HolaBank is aimed at international clients who have bought or rent property in Spain, residing in the country permanently or over part of the year. These tend to be families who have bought holiday homes, investors, business people, professionals or retirees. They are usually of European origin but also from elsewhere in the world and have moved to Spain for business or leisure purposes.

CaixaBank currently serves 375,000 clients in this segment, generating business volumes standing at six billion euro (figures as of February 2015). By setting up this business line CaixaBank aims to secure market penetration of 25 per cent among inter-national customers over the next four years, in line with the bank’s 2015-2018 strategic plan.

In the whole of Spain, there will be more than 100 HolaBank offices, with Malaga, Alicante, Murcia and the Balearic Islands joining the Canary branches and covering 72 muni-cipalities in total. Each will be rebranded to show a clear identity.

As well as specialised customer service, provided by multilingual account mana-gers, documentation at these branches will also be available in several languages. These branches will be rebranded to ensure they are easily recog-nisable to clients.

This new CaixaBank service features an extensive catalogue of savings and financing products designed specifically with this group in mind, as well as a broad portfolio of high value non-financial services. These include the so-called Plan Living Solutions, providing legal guidance in multiple languages, tele-phone healthcare assistance in multiple languages, online translators and interpreters, free registration with utilities, personal assistance and emergency home support under special circumstances, among others. They will also be able to benefit from discounts and pro-motions at

restaurants and an exclusive telephone service line, available 365 days a year.

The www.holabank.es website will be available to international customers, featuring the full range of HolaBank services in English, German, French, Spanish and Catalan. They will also be able to directly contact account managers in their own language.

CaixaBank’s multichannel banking strategy means HolaBank customers will be able to operate with their accounts 24 hours a day, seven days a week, via branches, existing electronic channels such as ATMs, smartphones (CaixaMóvil) and Internet (Línea Abierta), and new devices and environments, such as tablets, smart TVs, social networks, etc.

The new concept was recently presented in Tenerife to more than 300 international customers. The event took place in Santa Cruz and guests included the Mayor, José Manuel Bermúdez and tourism councillor for the Canary Government, María Teresa Lorenzo.

Andrés Orozco, regional director for CaixaBank in the Canaries, said:

” HolaBank will allow CaixaBank to strengthen its relationship with this group of customers who have very specific needs and require an innovative, comprehensive and high quality offering.”

CaixaBank is currently Spain’s foremost bank in electronic banking and a global leader in terms of innovation. Some 4.7 million customers use the bank’s online services each month according to ComScore. More than two million customers also operate using mobile devices each month. The mobile app download service has been used to make 10 million downloads.

CaixaBank’s online banking share stands at 36 per cent, the highest worldwide (comparing penetration rates for banks in their respective markets).

CaixaBank became the first bank to create its own mobile app store, featuring more than 70 free applications compatible with the various mobile operating systems.

Such applications allow users to harness services available via other channels using their mobile devices. Examples include applications for making transfers to deposits or investment funds via mobile devices.

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Awards for customer management

This commercial strategy consolidates CaixaBank’s position as a leader in innovation and service quality. CaixaBank is the leader in the Spanish banking sector, with 13.4 million customers, a penetration rate of 27.6% and a network of more than 5,000 branches and close to 10,000 ATMs, the most extensive in Spain.

In February CaixaBank received two important awards in London for service quality in customer management and consultancy. On the one hand, it won the award for the best private banking provider in Spain from the British magazine Euromoney, as part of the Private Banking Survey 2015, which identifies the top private banking institutions in terms of service quality and business models.

The bank also received the award for excellence in financial consultancy from Alan Yarrow, Lord Mayor of London and Chairman of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI), in recognition of CaixaBank’s foresight in anticipating the European regulatory requirements that would be introduced with the launch of the European Banking Union. The bank was the first in the Spanish financial sector to certify employee training based on the postgraduate diploma in financial consultancy from the UPF and the CISI’s Certificate in Wealth Management.

Welfare projects: 9.5 million beneficiaries and more engagement than ever”la Caixa” Banking Foundation will earmark a budget of 500 million euro for Welfare Projects in 2015, the same sum as dedicated to such projects for the last seven years. This allocation makes the bank the largest private foundation in Spain and one of the most important anywhere in the world.

These projects will continue to concentrate on current major challenges, such as unemployment, preventing exclusion and supporting access to homes. The lion’s share of investment, 67.1% of the budget (336 million euro), goes towards social and care services; cultural programmes account for 13.5% of investment (67 million); science and environmental pro-grammes 11.2% (56 million); and support for education and research 8.2% (41 million euro).