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LLB Annual Report 2020 de

Retail & Corporate Banking

Information checkedInformation geprüft Retail & Corporate Banking 

Thanks to their extensive offering for retail and corporate clients, LLB and Bank Linth are successfully positioned as the leading universal banks for Liechtenstein and eastern Switzerland. Closeness to clients is our cardinal principle. In interacting with our clients, tradition is just as important to us as innovation.

Regionally anchored

Founded almost 160 years ago, Liechtensteinische Landesbank is the longest established financial institute in Liechtenstein. Its very large market share of retail and corporate banking business confirms that the Landesbank is firmly anchored in the region and makes a major contribution to the economy of the Principality. It is the only bank in Liechtenstein with several branches and an extensive network of cash machines. Many clients are also shareholders of the bank (see "The LLB share"). Bank Linth (founded in 1848) also has a rich tradition and is well known for its proximity to clients and to the market. Around 10'400 shareholders form the foundation of the bank and actively participate in its development.

Banking for personal and corporate clients is a local and regional business. Therefore our client advisers are at home in their market regions and can assess the needs of our clients (see chapter "Employees"). To underline this closeness to our clients and our home region, the division has been renamed the Personal and Corporate Client Division.

A reliable partner during the crisis

For the Personal and Corporate Client Division as well, the 2020 business year was largely shaped by the repercussions of the corona pandemic. In spite of the challenging situation, we were able to maintain our close contacts with clients, and in some cases, to even intensify them. We were able to achieve this by implementing strict safety concepts and intensifying the use of telephone and digital channels. We were also able to fulfil the increased demand of our clients for contactless payments by raising the limits on Maestro cards and bringing forward the launch of our own LiPay digital payment system. We supported our corporate clients through this difficult time by providing bridging loans and additional advisory services. We are proud of the important contribution we have made in this manner to the economic stability of our domestic markets, and to have again proven to be a reliable partner in a time of crisis.

Markets and services

The personal and corporate client business of Liechtensteinische Landesbank and its subsidiary Bank Linth comprises the deposits and financing business in the domestic markets of Liechtenstein and Switzerland. In addition, we have very diverse relationships with cross-border clients from the Austrian province of Vorarlberg. In these market regions we offer the complete spectrum of banking and financial services for private and corporate clients. Our 360-degree range of advisory services is unique in that it provides solutions for every phase of life and stage of the business cycle – from birth to estate planning, and from the setting up of a company to succession planning.

Successful lending and mortgage business

Lending business is an important area of banking for the LLB Group, especially in such a difficult operating environment as the one in the year under report. We pursue a prudent credit policy, which focuses on the lender’s creditworthiness and ability to repay a loan (see chapter "Finance and risk management"). In its home market Liechtenstein, LLB is the market leader in mortgage lending business with a market share of 50 per cent. As the largest regional bank in eastern Switzerland, Bank Linth is also one of the largest credit providers in this business area. Since the former LIBOR central benchmark interest rate is being discontinued and replaced, LLB and Bank Linth have already been offering an alternative solution since 2020. Clients can choose money market mortgages based on the SARON Swiss benchmark interest rate for their properties. In Liechtenstein LLB is the first bank to offer SARON mortgages to its clients.

Bank branch and ATM network

LLB is the only bank in Liechtenstein to offer

3 bank branches and
24 ATM locations

In the Swiss cantons of St. Gallen, Zurich, Schwyz and Thurgau Bank Linth operates a total of

19 bank branches / advisory points and
23 ATM locations

Reliable partner bank for SMEs

In recent years, LLB and Bank Linth have increasingly positioned themselves as partner banks for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Liechtenstein and eastern Switzerland. With a market share of 70 per cent, LLB is the market leader in Liechtenstein. Bank Linth is one of the largest service providers in eastern Switzerland.

In addition to attractive basic product packages, LLB and Bank Linth offer corporate clients a broad and comprehensive range of services from the setting up of a business to the transfer of the company to the next generation.

Liquidity support during Covid-19

Our close relationships with SMEs have proven their worth especially during the corona crisis, with both LLB and Bank Linth assuming an active role as partner banks for these companies. Both banks participated in the government programmes to provide Covid-19 bridging loans. Companies, which ran into financial difficulties as a result of the corona crisis, had thus the opportunity to obtain liquid funds in a simple and unbureaucratic manner. We were able to approve the corresponding applications for  around 750 companies. In total, during the corona pandemic, the LLB Group has provided companies with around CHF 71 million in bridging liquidity (see chart Bridging financing).

One criterion was the primary factor for the issuing of the loans: the procedure had to be fast, unbureaucratic and simple. There were clear rules for the granting of the loan facilities; basically, whoever fulfilled the official criteria was granted a loan. At LLB AG, we carried out a rudimentary credit check on the basis of the submitted financial statement. In Liechtenstein the lending limit amounted to a maximum of 20 per cent of personnel expenses and was basically fixed at 300'000 Swiss francs. In Switzerland the maximum credit limit was set at 500'000 Swiss francs. We only had to reject those applications, which did not meet the criteria of the Liechtenstein government or the Swiss Federal Council – for example, in the case of domiciliary companies or if the company was not entitled.

Both at LLB and Bank Linth the bridging loans were completely covered by the relevant state guarantees. Furthermore, Bank Linth also issued so-called Covid-19-Plus bridging loans, which covered credit volumes of over CHF 500'000. In these cases, Bank Linth bears 15 per cent of the risk.

Indeed, over and above the government bridging financing programmes, our contacts with corporate clients during the corona crisis were very intensive. Our advisers spoke with clients about their concerns and problems; together they sought individual solutions where this was necessary.

Bridging financing

Payments, savings and deposits

In Liechtenstein LLB is the clear market leader in payment services and account management. From birth almost every resident has an account at the Landesbank. Our "LLB Combi / Bank Linth Combi" package enables private clients to design their individual banking relationship themselves. An interactive online configurator helps our clients to put together a service package that fits their requirements, and also reveals the cost of every module to provide full transparency. The specific investment advice and asset management for clients having available assets of up to CHF 0.5 million are also components of personal and corporate banking business. Under the designation "Compass", we offer a 360-degree spectrum of advisory services, which provides solutions for every phase of life and stage of the business cycle. At LLB and Bank Linth, corporate clients receive various attractive basic products in our "SME box", which also offers transparent services and conditions.

Individual pension provisioning solutions

We are the only bank in Liechtenstein offering clients individual pension fund solutions through the LLB Pension Fund Foundation for Liechtenstein (see chapter "Responsibilities for the economy, society and environment"). Measured in terms of the number of persons insured and the assets managed, the LLB Pension Fund Foundation is the largest collective foundation in Liechtenstein and the only one in the country whose members can choose between two investment strategies. In the year under report, the foundation administered assets with this strategy of over one billion Swiss francs. At the end of 2020, it administered 7’478 actively insured persons in 838 affiliated companies.

Omni-channel concept: closeness to clients through digitalisation

Covid-19 has again accelerated the importance of digital channels. Even before the pandemic, we noted that, in personal and corporate client business, more and more of our clients were utilising e-channels whereas over-the-counter business was declining. In 2020, more than 2.7 million transactions (2019: 2.5 million) were carried out via our online and mobile banking channels. Card transactions using LLB cards also increased from 3.3 million in the previous year to 3.5 million.

Our contactless LiPay payment application, launched early in spring 2020 due to the corona pandemic, was also well received by the market. In the first few months, our payment service was used several thousand times. In Liechtenstein there are already around 60 venues that accept the payment system.

Even if over-the-counter business is declining, this does not mean that our bank branches have become superfluous. On the contrary, the scope and intensity of advisory discussions and meetings have increased. Therefore we are investing not just in technology but also in the advanced training of our bank branch teams. Our branch counter staff are becoming client adviser, who have completed the certification programme according to the standards of the Swiss Association for Quality (SAQ) (see chapter "Employees"). By the end of 2020, 128 client advisers of the Personal and Corporate Client segment had successfully completed the certification programme.

Bank branches focused on advising clients

The trend in the bank branches is away from transaction business and towards personal advice provided on the spot. Increasingly, all generations of clients are carrying out standard transactions, such as in and out payments, themselves at ATMs or using e-channels. As a consequence of Covid-19 the frequency of contactless payments and the basic acceptance of digital media by clients have intensified.

Conversely, our branch staff have more time for personal meetings and discussions, and to support clients in the use of e-banking; a service that is much appreciated. This adds to the atmosphere in our redesigned bank branches, offering our clients an inspiring experience and enabling them to feel comfortable and at ease.

We are successively redesigning our bank branches. Following the remodelling of the branch in Balzers, in June 2020 LLB reopened its redesigned branch in Eschen. A special feature of the Eschen branch is the Community Zone, which can be used for events and presentations. For example, from 2021 a concept involving financial coaches is planned as a guide to young people in how to deal properly with money. This will be held in collaboration with the Liechtenstein Bankers Association and the Liechtenstein Department of Education. The primary aim of the redesigned bank branches in Liechtenstein is to create an experience for clients. A "pension planning" application has been added to our unique "Bankorama" experience. Bankorama helps make LLB bank products simple and interactive. The remodelling of the bank’s headquarters in Vaduz will commence in April 2021 and take 18 months.

On its way to becoming the "the bank of the future", Bank Linth opened its first redesigned branches in 2015. In the meantime, eighteen of nineteen branches have been modernised according to the new standard to comply with changed client requirements. In future the focus will be on providing advice – and infrequently desired services will no longer be provided at all locations. Thanks to mobile work places and adjustments to infrastructure, all 19 branches can offer clients the choice of flexible appointment planning in future.

Number of transactions via bank counter, ATMs, card terminals (POS), e-channels (mobile and online)


We are one of the few banks to have designed our entire digital offering as a one-stop shop. Designed in accordance with the latest security and technological standards, our digital offering is constantly expanding. In 2020, our online bank programme was further expanded for both LLB and Bank Linth. Users now benefit from new functions and improved user-friendliness.

Within the scope of our "Novus" digitalisation programme, we are investing CHF 30 million during the current strategy period in the continual development of our digital channels (see chapter "Corporate Center").

Digitalisation steps in payment systems

By introducing various new offers, we are making the payment and issuing of invoices more efficient, simple and clear:

  • LiPay: In spring we brought our own contactless payment app on to the market. Due to the corona crisis, the launch took place earlier than planned. In contrast to established instant payment systems in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, LiPay uses direct "account-to-account" payments, accelerated by instant push messages. We are currently working on adding to the LiPay functions.
  • QR billing: The launch of QR billing in June 2020 represents a further step towards the automation of payment processes. It simplifies the issuing and payment of invoices for our clients and, after a transition period, will replace the orange and red payment slips. The introduction was successful, with it being well received by our clients. During the transition phase, we are supporting our clients by providing specific offers.
  • eBill: Our eBill application has also been welcomed on the market. This service makes it easier for our clients to receive, check and release invoices for payment via LLB’s Online Banking. Electronic and paperless processing also save costs and protect the environment.
  • LLB Connect: For companies having a very large number of payment orders we offer an attractive and convenient solution in the form of LLB Connect. This interface solution enables companies to submit payments, stock market and foreign exchange orders via their usual software environment quickly, securely and efficiently to LLB. The accounting system can be reconciled automatically with accounts receivable and accounts payable.
  • EBICS: We also offer our corporate clients the Electronic Banking Internet Communication Standard. EBICS has become established in various SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) countries as a multi-bank client / bank communications standard that enables payment transfers to be executed in an encrypted and secure form via the internet. Multi-national companies, in particular, are the target users for this system.

Advisory service centre

As the interface between online and offline services, our advisory service centre is the central hub for around 60'000 clients. It offers them a comprehensive service for all banking transactions. In recent years more and more demands have been made on our dedicated team at the advisory service centre, especially in response to the plethora of different regulatory provisions applying to our clients from around 80 countries. In 2020, the advisory team answered about 126'000 telephone calls, responded to around 35'000 e-mails and 7'200 bank messages. It also dealt with 82'000 enquiries and questions. The team is also responsible for providing first-level support for questions relating to our digital channels.

Client requirements front and centre

As part of the StepUp2020 strategy, the LLB Group set itself the goal of investing more time in the individual care of its clients and enhancing the quality of advice it gives them. For us it is therefore vital to keep up with the needs and wishes of our clients so that we can respond to them as quickly as possible.

In the year under report, we therefore carried out another client survey. This revealed very positive results for the Personal and Corporate Client segment. The investments made in physical and digital channels and, especially, the closeness to clients that we practice through our bank branches, advisers and infrastructure are much appreciated by clients. Areas in which the client survey showed potential for improvements are being carefully analysed and monitored.

Premium partner of the Chamber of Commerce

LLB is well networked with the local business community. We are premium partners of the Liechtenstein Chamber of Commerce – a collaboration which is constantly being extended. In addition to our tried and tested services for members of the Chamber of Commerce, we offer events and training activities, particularly in relation to digitalisation. In the year under report, for example, as part of the Chamber’s training platform, we organised several meetings and events in relation to the introduction of QR billing. These received a very positive echo. Unfortunately, due to the corona pandemic, other planned events could not be held. As soon as the situation permits, these activities will be reinstated including the awarding of the LLB sponsored SME award.

Business segment result

Interest differential business, which comprises the largest part of earnings in retail and corporate banking business, posted a stable development despite the persisting pressure on margins and, at CHF 91.2 million, remained at the same level as in the previous year. In the year under report, risk provisioning had to be increased, which led to a lower segment profit before tax. Both personnel and general and administrative expenses were reduced. The business volume rose by 4.4 per cent to CHF 20.8 billion. The increase was attributable to net new money inflows of 8.0 percent, or CHF 745 million, as well as continued growth in mortgage lending business. The segment attained net new money inflows and lending business growth in both the home markets of Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

Business segment result: Retail & Corporate Banking

Segment reporting

in CHF thousands



+ / – %

Net interest income



– 2.1

Expected credit losses

– 4'120



Net interest income after expected credit losses



– 7.2

Net fee and commission income




Net trading income



– 7.6

Other income




Total operating income



– 4.5

Personnel expenses

– 27'224

– 28'698

– 5.1

General and administrative expenses

– 1'572

– 1'924

– 18.3





Services (from) / to segments

– 56'252

– 52'575


Total operating expenses

– 85'049

– 83'197


Segment profit before tax



– 14.7

Performance figures




Gross margin (in basis points) *



Cost Income Ratio (in per cent) *



Net new money (in CHF millions) *



Growth of net new money (in per cent)



* Definition available under

Additional information




+ / – %

Business volume (in CHF millions) *




Assets under management (in CHF millions) *




Loans (in CHF millions)




Employees (full-time equivalents, in positions)




* Definition available under