After surpassing $1 billion of sales for 1999, the investment arm of California Federal Bank of San Francisco is aiming for 20% more than that in sales next year, as well as 20% revenue growth.
Cal Fed Investments, which passed the billion-dollar mark on Nov. 29, said it hopes to have $1.2 billion of sales next year and to increase revenues, which were $41.3 million for the nine months through Sept. 30, similarly.
The Sacramento, Calif.-based investment unit said it will also try to increase the ratio of investment revenues to bank deposits - known as deposit profit penetration - and the percentage of its parent's deposit customers who buy investment products.
Cal Fed's deposit profit penetration is just over 12 basis points, compared with an industry average of 4.7 basis points, according to a survey by Kenneth Kehrer Associates of Princeton, N.J. It said that more than 25% of California Federal's deposit customers also bought investment products, compared with an industry average of 6.5%.
To reach next year's sales goal, Cal Fed plans to increase sales of insurance - which accounts for 5% of revenues - and continue periodic sales promotions, said Deborah Bernot, Cal Fed's president. Ms. Bernot said Cal Fed will increase insurance sales by expanding its product line, with a focus on adding simplified products that are easier for platform employees to sell.
"Insurance companies are getting better at creating products that can be sold at banks," she said.
And several platform salespeople were also recently licensed to sell insurance products. This should also increase sales, Ms. Bernot said, especially since some branches of Glendale Federal Bank, which California Federal merged with in September 1998, do not have any licensed salespeople.
Ms. Bernot attributed much of Cal Fed's sales success to its platform sales program. The thrift has an average of three series 6-licensed salespeople in each branch. And 105 series 7-licensed brokers and seven insurance specialists cover the branch network.
Cal Fed has no plan to hire or license more sales representatives this year, Ms. Bernot said.
California Federal Bank, a subsidiary of San Francisco-based Golden State Bancorp, has $56 billion of assets.