Swiss Post has just revealed that PostFinance, its financial services division, has increased its profit by 37% to CHF 274m during the first six months of 2010. The number of depositors and accounts is steadily increasing even after the pick of the financial crisis and now reaches almost 4 million accounts in a country of little more than 7 million inhabitants.
In order to get better insights on the success of PostFinance, let us have a look at Google’s statistics on the number of searches for the word “PostFinance” and “die Post” (Swiss Post) respectively.
The number of searches for key words in searches often reflects the evolution of customers’ preferences over time. It’s like a permanent real time survey of people’s tastes. So if you look at the figure, Swiss people keep a rather constant interest in the Post but showed a tremendous increase in interest for PostFinance already since early 2004. Does this mean that people expect more from the Post than just mail? Whatever it may signal, the “search interest” gap between the Post and PostFinance was progressively reduced, and “PostFinance” was more searched for than the Post in 2006. With the financial crisis unfolding between August 2007 and October 2008, this gap in interest between the Post and PostFinance became larger and larger, reflecting Swiss people’s concern about the financial health of their banks. Yet what is remarkable is that PostFinance was able to maintain its progression even after the peak of the financial crisis – which corresponds to the Lehman Brother’s fallout in autumn 2008. Since then, the interest for PostFinance – and the actual outcomes in terms of accounts opening and other indicators – do not seem to decelerate. You knew it – trust matters! And now just compare yourself (just click on the link) PostFinance to Swiss leading banks “UBS” and “CS”.