Rising to the occasion
in a difficult context
Drawing on a risk management strategy adapted to the situation, RCI Bank and Services demonstrated the solidity of its business model this year. The group has taken a proactive approach to supporting its customers during the crisis, confirming its status as the preferred financial partner of the Alliance brands.
The solidity of our model confirmed
Despite the unusual conditions of 2020, RCI Bank and Services maintained a solid level of performance, while supporting its customers during the health crisis. We take a closer look at our stable and responsible model.
In 2020, new and used vehicle sales fluctuated along with the lockdowns implemented to limit the spread of Covid-19 around the world. They returned to higher levels when lockdown measures were lifted over the summer, before slowing again at the end of the year.
Despite these circumstances, RCI Bank and Services posted robust sales and financial performances, reflected in particular by the slight decline in Average Performing Assets to only -1.1%. APAs thus remained practically at the same level as in 2020. Our savings business activity reached a new record of €20.5 billion in deposits, compared with €17.7 billion at end December 2019. This activity accounted for 43% of net assets at end 2020, which allowed us to consolidate our refinancing strategy and to optimize our level of profitability.
In order to support these performances and ensure our resilience in an uncertain context, we developed a cost optimization strategy aligned with that of Groupe Renault. This allowed us to record an improvement of €11 million in our operating costs. We also mobilized to support our customers during this exceptional year. To this end, our teams automatically granted payment extensions to all European dealers, and to retail and corporate customers who requested them. In this way, we strengthened our positioning as their preferred financial partner.
These decisions, both cautious and proactive, allowed RCI Bank and Services to contribute €1,003 million to Groupe Renault’s operating margin at end 2020, compared with €1,327 million in 2019. A stable and encouraging performance in an unprecedented context, underscoring the solidity of our model and our teams’ capacity to adapt.
An all-digital after-sales journey to support dealerships in Switzerland
TO SUPPORT DEALERS IN SWITZERLAND
To support our Swiss dealership network in the COVID-impacted car market, RCI Bank and Services is supporting the launch of Digi-Way, a 100% digital after-sales service for protecting customers and dealers. A new service perfectly adapted to the situation.
Unique in Switzerland, Digi-Way makes vehicle maintenance extremely flexible. From making appointments to paying invoices, everything is done remotely. Cars can even be dropped off or picked up contact-free and outside opening hours thanks to a digibox.
By limiting physical contact, the 100% online offer encourages business continuity in workshops and with satisfactory health conditions. For customers, the relationship is maintained with no risk of contact with teams or other customers.
AN EXPERIENCE APPRECIATED BY OUR CUSTOMERS
Launched on July 1, following the resumption of activity, the service is now available at six dealerships. Six months later, over 100 customers have opted for this 100% digital offer, contributing to business continuity at dealerships.
Ensuring the longevity of our economic model
Facing increasing number of regulatory requirements with which we must comply as a bank, and a downturn in the automotive market, our strategy aims to strengthen our financial solidity even more in the years to come. We will thus ensure our positioning with our customers as we continue to adapt to their needs.
Maintaining control of our costs while accelerating our transformation: this is one of the objectives defined in the framework of our Together 4 Customers strategic plan. In the long term, this strategy will generate new sources of revenue by increasing the volume of our financing contracts.
Our strategy will also focus on improving our efficiency. The goal: to optimize the use of our capital and increase our refinancing capacity, in particular by developing our savings business activity. Close attention will also be paid to the management and allocation of our equity capital, in order to boost our level of profitability.
The increase in electric vehicle sales should continue with the entry into force of the CAFE standards. We will continue to support Renault and Nissan, pioneers in this field, in particular by providing new flexible offers.