Savings banks—Optimize operations and IT

“Operations and IT are more than the pillars of a savings bank—they are instruments of change.”
Sven Enk, Senior Manager, zeb


Realizing potential and introducing new processes to suit the target audience

Operating results remain under pressure due to the ongoing low interest rate phase. In order to realize required minimum results, practice-proven measures to stabilize and boost income must be implemented. Moreover, the cost potentials in administration need to be assessed per institution and implemented systematically and sustainably. This should be based on the measures addressed within the framework of the “operating strategy of the future”  and in a series of projects successfully supported by zeb. 

Furthermore, the standards of the process and technology landscape at S-Finanzgruppe and in the savings banks ecosystem are defining guidelines. In addition, the existing organizational structures of the institutions must be geared to continuous and increasing digital change and competition. In a further step, it is sensible to proactively promote innovative efficiency solutions relating to process automation.


Savings banks’ practice in recent years shows that the potentials realized in the past have often been achieved solely by increases in fees. Among other reasons, this is due to inadequate strategic personnel planning and misunderstood or not actively practiced roles within the Organization and IT unit. The key to shaping the necessary change is an effective process management. The associated driver function for continuous improvement needs to be strengthened. The effort for ensuring the operations must be reduced considerably. Any capacity freed up as a consequence must be systematically used to provide the necessary support to the central unit and back office departments to optimize their processes by using innovative instruments and working methods. 


zeb project experience shows that even today—based on an average starting point—up to 25% of the material and personnel costs can be saved without deviating far from the standard.

The measures required for this are generally not fully transparent at many institutions from the S-Finanzgruppe. These include both the application of the standards of the S-Finanzgruppe, such as machine-supported credit processes according to “Modell K3.0”, as well as innovative solutions based on them.  

Furthermore, the use of available automation options in line with the standard does not incur any additional cost and enables significant savings potentials in any institution. Aside from realizing potential, the challenges in practice include target group-appropriate introduction of the new processes and communication and training of OSP instruments.   

Building on this, especially innovation-focused institutions are increasingly taking the opportunity to close existing gaps in the standard process through temporary proprietary solutions or proven third-party applications. This economically sensible solution is based on the current S-Finanzgruppe standards. This way, the use of modern technologies, such as artificial intelligence or today’s RPA technology, can realize significant cost potentials outside the classical solution space. 


A comprehensive, proven solution portfolio is available to overcome the current challenges relating to the operating model. The main points for improving the situation are identified below: 

Introduction of S-Finanzgruppe conceptual standards:
Standardization through implementation of the association models (e.g. BdZ, Modell K3.0, Modell P2.0, etc.) as well as related process standards (ProzessPlus) and comparison with the existing best practice solutions while taking current developments into account.

Utilization of technical possibilities: 
Ensuring an excellent technical process support in credit, deposit and sales processes in OSPlus-Portal, OSPlus-Kredit and OSPlus_neo as well as integration of “quasi standard” solutions from the savings banks ecosystem. 
Improvement in user behavior: 
Ensuring adequate use of conceptual design and technology in the process landscape with the aim of increasing acceptance, process efficiency and data quality—as the basis for comprehensive management support, among other things. 

Development of proprietary solutions to increase efficiency: 
Increasing the efficiency potential that can be realized immediately after carrying out an economic efficiency calculation, in particular on the basis of application examples that extend the standard solution portfolio and take sourcing options into account. For example, these might be individual ISP developments, the application of RPA technology or the use of artificial intelligence. 

Professionalization of organizational structures:
Realignment of structures with a view to greater, continuous improvement, more agile teamwork and professional process management. Assessment of outsourcing options, such as of IT operations and building a comprehensive process controlling system for the systematic identification of optimization potentials. 

Once these aspects have been implemented, savings banks can dramatically boost operational efficiency for each individual situation and level of ambition. We would be happy to go into detail on specific aspects in a personal meeting with you and present a tailored solution based on your current situation.

We look forward to talking to you.