After full integration into the Liechtensteinische Landesbank, the traditional bank Linth would have to be renamed “RegionalBank Plus” without giving up its regional identity. It soon becomes clear what freedoms she still has.
An important chapter in Banklinth comes to an end when the delisting is expected to be completed by the end of the year. With the withdrawal from the Swiss stock exchange SIX, the eastern Swiss regional bank will almost certainly become a 100 percent subsidiary of the Liechtensteinische Landesbank (LLB), as reported (today) Wednesday in the first half of 2022.
The turnaround is symbolic, because Bank Linth will no longer hold its general meeting, which serves white sausage to around 1,200 shareholders every year.
For the long-established company founded in 1848, full integration would have required far more profound upheavals. With the reduction of the sole proprietorship, the universal bank will probably have to be managed more tightly and reorient itself to a tighter consortium.
The Liechtenstein owners, who are paying around CHF 120 million to increase their stake in Bank Linth from 75 to 100 percent, will hardly be satisfied with the one-time cost advantage. This, especially since these were apparently largely ended with delisting. It would not be surprising if the newly founded LLB Group took a more courageous approach.
Strong access to Switzerland
Expanded access to the Swiss market is already being discussed. This next logical step now needs to be planned behind the scenes. The central question for Bank Linth will be to grow in a targeted manner without losing its roots and regional identity.
In the growth scenario, there is scope to further expand the regional footprint that the bank has under its CEO David Sarasin In recent years, we have successfully expanded into the fast-growing areas of Winterthur and Thurgau.
Open ear in Vaduz?
It will also not come as a surprise if the classic branches are further converted into mentoring centers with hybrid offers. Because customer proximity no longer has to be communicated via the channel of the bank branch. With the right technology, this can be done, for example, in combination with telephone and personal advice.
In the case of closer alliances, however, new barriers can also arise that result from the special features of the two home markets. An example of this can be heard at what may well be the last media conference organized independently by Bank Linth. If Bank Linth intends to offer its customers the use of TWINT for payment transactions in the future and thereby draw on the IT expertise of the Liechtenstein parent company, a shrug would initially be expected. Because Twint is not used at all in the country of Liechtenstein, and there is no ready-made application.
Even more: at the height of the Corona crisis, the LLB launched its own payment app for “Lndle” with Lipay.
Integration under different signals
The full acquisition marks the end of a journey that began in 2006 under various circumstances. In a bidding war at the time, Glenner Cantonalbank attempted an “unfriendly takeover” of Bank Linth before it emerged as the so-called Weisse Ritter der LLB.
In the end, Bank Linth was swallowed up by another bank. However, this association has rich growth prospects. A new chapter could be added to the eventful history of the bank.
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