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DZ Bank has been rated as the best German retail structured products issuer for 2014, according to a survey by Sapient Global Markets in collaboration with Die Welt.
With the appetite for structured products showing no signs of slowing down, the survey revealed that many issuers have evolved their operations to educate customers and provide new channels to access information, increase number of clients and provide a transparent environment around the products available to retail investors.
Some 17 certificate providers were surveyed in this year’s rankings, covering approximately 98 per cent of the German speaking market (Germany, Switzerland and Austria). From April to June 2014, product and risk transparency as well as information services were tested with emails, phone calls as well as a thorough investigation of the issuer’s product pricing policy and product platforms.
Overall, DZ Bank retained its top spot in the issuer study with a score of 84 out of a possible 100 points. It was followed by Goldman Sachs, while BNP Paribas jumped two spots to third with a score of 78.5, followed by BayernLB and Citigroup.
Issuer Product Information Sheets (PIB) have been required by law to clearly display the principal opportunities and risks of structured products. As part of the assessment, a selection of each issuer’s PIB was tested for completeness and accuracy of content and clarity of the text. As in 2013, Goldman Sachs claimed the top spot within this category, followed by DZ Bank and Bayern LB.
“The 2014 survey revealed the continued importance that retail investors place on the PIBs but also emphasised the growing demand for functionality improvements to bank web portals. Investors want the ability to search and select products that meet their investment and risk criteria, alongside related information such as PIBs and have all of this available at their fingertips,” says Stefan Naumann, director, Sapient Global Markets. “The results reflect work we are undertaking with a number of banks that are engaging with us to evolve their offerings and deliver richer, more personalised portals. They recognise the value of providing investors with timely and actionable intelligence around their structured products as well as the growing demand for their availability on a mobile device.”
Web-based portals are evolving as an essential source of information on structured products and were evaluated by the survey. Responses show that issuers have reacted to investor demands for increased transparency by offering new tools through mobile and tablet-based applications. In the 2014 rankings, BNP Paribas scored highest, with Goldman Sachs second and 2012 and 2013 leader DZ Bank in third.
Response to client queries through email and telephone channels was also measured. The rankings evaluate the comprehensibility and accuracy of specific products based on responses from each issuer and rated Commerzbank first for response management, ahead of HVB Unicredit and Citigroup.
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