- Caja Navarra
Caja Navarra Type Caja de Ahorros Industry Banking Founded 1921 Headquarters Pamplona, Spain Key people Enrique Goñi CEO Products Financial Services Website http://www.can.es/
Caja de Ahorros de Navarra or Caja Navarra or CAN is a medium sized savings bank based in the Navarra region of northern Spain with its headquarters in Pamplona. The bank, in its current form, results from the merger of the Caja de Ahorros y Monte de Piedad Municipal de Pamplona (founded by the Pamplona city council in 1872) and the Caja de Ahorros de Navarra (founded by the Provincial Council of Navarre in 1921) on January 17, 2000.
In Spain, savings banks or cajas are private financial institutions organized as foundations. When they were first created, their main identifying features were their concern for saving, focus on the poorer classes, concentration in a geographical area, and allocation of a significant part of their profits to social and charity projects. Today their commitment to the community continues. These savings banks devote a percentage of their resources to charity and community projects, in CAN's case 30 percent. Caja Navarra is known for its unique Civic Banking model, which it developed under current CEO Enrique Goñi.
Civic Banking is an innovative banking model. Civic Banking has sought to turn traditional banking on its head by placing the customer at the center of its business practices and ascribing them rights, while creating duties for Caja Navarra itself to follow.
The results of Civic Banking have been greater than expected with more than 80% of customers choosing where their money is spent each year. Between 2002 and 2006 CAN's business customers increased from 120 to nearly 800 . Between 2001 and 2007 Caja Navarra moved from 22nd to 17th in terms of volume among other Spanish savings banks, from 20th to 12th in profit after tax, from 16th to 5th in margin per employee and from 41st to 4th in ROE.
Nothing quite like the Civic Banking model is in place anywhere around the world; this has led scholars at many of the world's top universities including Georgetown University, New York University Stern School of Business, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, IESE and the Instituto Pamamericano de Alta Dirección de Empresa, study the relatively small bank.
Currently Caja Navarra is seeking to expand internationally into Eastern Europe. Though many experts argue that it is unlikely that this model of transparent business and social responsibility will be adopted by other commercial banks, Caja Navarra is a leader in industry innovation and its success is visible through customer satisfaction as well as numerical increases on its balance sheet. The bank continues its ambitious growth and innovation, and seeks to double its 2007 deposits by 2010 to an estimated 19.5 billion euro. By 2010, the bank also seeks to open 100 new canchas and increase the number of participants in the You Choose You Decide program to 700,000.
Civic Banking is a business model that the Spanish bank Caja Navarra (CAN) introduced in 2004 under its current CEO, Enrique Goñi. CAN introduced the model with its “You Choose: You Decide” initiative, or “Tu Eliges: Tu Decides” in Spanish, which evolved into its present form, the Five Rights. The key, however, remains the first right, under which CAN's clients can direct 30% of CAN's annual profit to specific social projects.
The Five Rights
The customers' five rights are:
- Social Project Work: CAN's customers choose the projects that qualify for donations under the Civic Account program;
- The Civic Account is the amount that each customer can direct to up to three social projects, and represents 30% of the profit that CAN has made from that customer that year;
- Project Accountability, which consists of reports from the social projects that detail how they have used the money that CAN's customers have directed to them;
- Volcan represents an opportunity for customers to volunteer at the projects they are funding;
- Know Where Your Savings are Invested: Initially this consisted simply of CAN reporting on how much of its lending was going to each of the areas to which it lent. Now customers can direct in which areas CAN should deploy any new deposits that the customer might make.
You Choose: You Decide
Civic Banking and its main program entitled “You Choose: You Decide” (encompassed in the 1st right of Civic Banking), has made the bank's customers responsible for deciding to which social ventures the bank should donate money. Cajas do not have share holders like a publicly owned commercial bank. Civic Banking has sought to incorporate the bank's customers in a way that shareholders would be incorporated in a publicly traded company – by giving them the decision making power and thus making them feel more attached to the bank.
Officially started in 2004, “You Choose, You Decide” identified nine groups of social projects: disability and welfare, research, cooperation, environment, employment and entrepreneurs, culture, preservation of heritage, sports and leisure. Then, each time a customer contracted a product or service from Caja Navarra they would choose where the profits were spent in an effort to make the customer feel more in touch with the bank and with the community. This is very different from the other Spanish cajas, where the board of the foundation that directs the savings bank chooses the social projects and monetary allocation. Thus in 2005, for the first time, 100 percent of 2005's social budget was decided by CAN's customers. The program was a great success with 82% of the banks customers choosing where to allocate their money in the first year alone.
Since 2004 CAN has continued to innovate within their civic banking platform. These innovations include reporting to customers in an individualized annual letter exactly how much money CAN has made from the customer (the social account - the second right). The nine broad categories of social projects have now been expanded into over 2500 individual projects for the customer to choose from. In addition customers can propose their own social projects to add to the current list of over 2500 if they cannot find one they identify with. Caja Navarra also encourages its customers to participate in the social ventures they support (Volcan - the fourth right).
First, Second, CAN facilitates customers volunteering to participate in them, and encouraging others to participate. Third, the social projects link to CAN by encouraging people interested in the projects to bank with CAN and to then to direct their allocation of CAN's annual profit to the social project.
Civic Banking is also transforming CAN's branches. Branches are normally a place to go to contract bank services. However, in keeping with their idea of growing customer loyalty and participation, Caja Navarra is transforming their branches into open community spaces that CAN calls canchas. At Canchas customers may conduct banking business, but the canchas also feature play areas for children, free internet access for the public, free coffee, and once a week, after banking hours, live entertainment. Groups within the community may also use the cancha to hold meetings.
Civic Banking Today
Since 2004 CAN has continued to innovate within their civic banking platform. These innovations include reporting to customers in an individualized document exactly how much money they make from the customer. The nine broad categories of social projects have now been expanded into over 2500 individual projects for the customer to choose from. In addition customers can propose their own social projects to add to the current list of over 2500 if they cannot find one they identify with.
- Corporate Governance. Vol.7, No.4, 2007.p. 434-445
- Lafferty Retail Banking Insider. Issue: 2008/6. http://www.lafferty.com. April 7, 2008. p. 11
- Euromoney. December 2007. http://www.euromoney.com p. 112
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