The Business Year

Banks provide a high level of specialization, flexible financial solutions, extensive experience, and tailor-made solutions to clients’ needs to stand out in an increasingly competitive market.

Dario Coffetti

CEO, Oney Bank Portugal

The French entity Auchan created Oney more than three decades ago. The Portuguese branch was created 28 years ago, the first one created outside France. Portugal is the second-largest subsidiary within the group, both in terms of results and in terms employees, with 400 team members. Our branch has almost all banking activities. We offer all financial products, such as credit cards, personal credit, insurance and so on, and the possibility of buying and paying in instalments, which follows the Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) trend. In Portugal, we have 1 million customers in a country that has 10 million inhabitants. One key differential factor was investing in digital channels from the beginning. And parallel to this, we were innovating with the now BNPL trend, which allows us to keep having new commerce partners and to grow in the Portuguese market. We have a different, unique vision of financial services and payment solutions: we reshape them to be more modern, responsible, and human. We consider ourselves to a partner in the transformation of commerce. With our thousands of retail partners, we give everyone the opportunity and power to improve their daily lives and consume better.

Nuno Francisco

Head of Portugal, BFF Banking Group

BFF Banking Group’s core business focuses on credit management and the acquisition of trade receivables towards public entities—a niche service where BFF sets itself apart from the market due to its level of expertise and specialization in this segment, for which there is effectively no similar competition. We started operations in Portugal in 2014 in a freedom of services regime, and in 2018 we opened a branch office in Lisbon, to develop a market-tailored approach to our services and invest in local expertise and know-how by creating a fully dedicated local team. If we look back now to our decision to invest in the country and to develop of a dedicated local team, we would definitely conclude that there was market appetite for our specialized solutions, but also that the market was missing this level of expertise as well, and a tailor-made approach to client needs that would more easily address their specific treasury necessities. At this point, we can safely say that our brand and operational strategy are aligned to pursue the goal of further business growth in Portugal, and our flexibility and efficiency in providing financial services meet companies’ needs.

Francisco Oliveira Fernandes

CEO, Francisco Oliveira Fernandes

Being a small financial institution, we must offer a distinct value proposition to our clients. Operating within a highly regulated environment might be challenging, but there is still room for a niche approach. Ours is based on relationships and trusted advisors, using our size and focused approach in wealth management to our advantage. We target clients that value the fact that we are close to them, we understand them, and we are willing to adjust the product or service to meet their needs. We are a boutique bank with in-depth knowledge of markets, particularly the Portuguese one. We have been investing in creating a bespoke service delivered by talented qualified professionals. We also use technology for incremental improvements to boost our efficiency. In this context, being small may be an advantage: it is easier to make changes when you are agile. With a niche approach, we understand that we are not maximizing the efficiency of the solutions that we offer. This raises issues in terms of finding the right level of response to a client’s needs and, at the same time, efficiency. This is why innovation and rethinking the way we do things are heavily on our agenda today.

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