he city of Barcelona is ranked seventh in the world in terms of reputation and eighth in terms of foreign investment attractiveness, according to the Observatorio Barcelona 2017, a report published by the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce and the City Council of the Catalan capital. Over the past few months, companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, Lidl and Siemens have announced plans to invest in the city and metropolitan area. This will lead to the arrival of professionals from other countries, many of them highly qualified: managers, researchers, investors and entrepreneurs. These professionals, commonly referred to as expats, are foreigners who move to the city temporarily for professional reasons. An estimated 111,000 expats currently live in Barcelona.
Last year, the private association Barcelona Global, supported by Banco Sabadell, published the results of the International Talent Monitor, a survey that is carried out every two years and aims to assess the competitiveness of the Catalan capital in terms of attracting international talent. One of the areas of improvement expressed by expats in the survey was the lack of an office or website with all of the essential information to enable them to achieve a smooth transition and integration. Banco Sabadell took note of this and consequently created the Welcome Service, an online welcome platform that helps expats with all of their basic requirements: search for housing, tax queries, requirements to set up a business, administrative matters, and more. The team at Banco Sabadell’s Welcome Service is available on a 24-hour basis, and can provide assistance in English, French and German.
The bank states that “we offer a wide range of assistance thanks to our prestigious partners. We want to be the main point of contact for expats, to help them achieve a full and seamless integration. They do not need to bank with us – our services are available to everyone. We believe that, aside from the help that we provide, with this service we also position ourselves as a potential provider of financial services. It is the best way for people to get to know us”. In just one year, close to 10,000 expats have benefited from the Welcome Service.
Banco Sabadell currently has over 800,000 foreign customers who live or work in the country. Close to 20% of expats living in Barcelona use Sabadell as their primary bank. Of the bank’s many customer segments, international customers represent the segment with the highest level of satisfaction with the services received, and they score the bank accordingly in quality surveys. “Good customer experience is essential. Customers from other nationalities have a good opinion of what we do, and they are grateful because, quite aside from offering financial products and services, we take an active interest in making sure that they transition smoothly and immerse themselves in their new surroundings”, explained the bank’s representatives.