COO of Pilatus Bank discusses the operational opportunities and challenges that financial institutions must consider in order to make private banking more accessible and affordable

Retail banks are facing challenges due to digital disruption, and the subsequent changes in consumer expectations, demographics, and behaviors. Luis Rivera, COO of Pilatus Bank, believes that in order to remain competitive and to stay ahead of these modern demands, retail banks have been forced to cut operating costs and instead focus their resources on innovation and digitally-enhanced products. But how do these well-established retail banks manage to cut costs whilst facing increased regulatory compliance and capital charge requirements? Unfortunately, as we have seen, it is often at the expense of customer service.


Even though traditional banks cling to the fundamental concept of being a trusted institution, new players on the market are easily attracting customers by offering better customer service through convenient, easy-to-use products. Pilatus Bank is one of these innovative banks who recognizes that the status quo is no longer an option. The COO of Pilatus Bank, Luis Rivera, states, “Customers demand for banks to transform and evolve with the times, and it is our responsibility as institutions to innovate and embrace agility as part of our governance structure to make sure we stay relevant.” Rivera believes that the digital revolution we are currently experiencing should inspire banks to improve customer service, as opposed to driving customers to online banking, automated phone services and robo-advisory. Pilatus Bank aims to go beyond such self-service solutions by offering a product that is not only seamless and convenient, but also enhances the banker-client relationship.

Pilatus Bank intends to drastically extend the private banking model beyond its current market to the mass-affluent. Rivera of Pilatus Bank adds, “We all want to experience exclusivity and quality customer service, but unfortunately, private banking has until now mainly only been offered to high-net-worth individuals.”

With every wave of new digital technology there comes operational and financial risk-related challenges that legacy systems’ cadence typically struggle to keep up with. Therefore it is imperative that strong governance standards are in place. Rivera believes that Pilatus Bank adheres to an integrated system with reduced operational legacy roadblocks, which in turn improves productivity – a concept they coin as “responsible innovation”.

Rivera contemplates, “Scalability is the biggest issue for most players in the market today, but through a strategy focused on optimization of resources and continuous investments in building and maintaining a robust technology platform, we believe we have what it takes to become a major contender in the banking space.”