Operating costs in banks

Operating costs in banks are compared with the results as part of profitability controlling in banks. In the context of bank controlling, the traditional cost accounting methods, particularly in credit institutions, combine the problems of overhead cost coding with fixed cost proportionalization. This should be avoided by using standard direct cost accounting, which determines the costs on a standardized basis. First of all, a product catalog is created in order to isolate the operating services inherent in the service bundle accepted from the customer. Subsequently, work flow studies must be carried out for these work flow studies in order to determine the cost centers involved in the creation of services and the standard consumption per operating service as a time and / or quantity structure. Every operational service arises from the combination of the production factors human labor, machine use and material resources.
The standard consumption quantities for machine use and material resources can be determined without any further difficulties, since they are independent of people. On the other hand, the calculation of the necessary working time consumption is more problematic, as this depends on the productivity of the employees. The time required for the parts of their activities that can be standardized can be determined using time measurement methods, assuming an average level of performance. The next step is to determine the prices of the input factors.

While the unit costs for material resources can be determined directly, individual cost factors must first be calculated for personnel and IT use. Since no idle costs are to be offset against the market services, the maximum usage times are assumed for normal or standard occupancy. On this basis, minute rates (€ / minute) can now be determined for the services. The standard individual costs then result from the link between the quantity and price structure, i.e. the multiplication of standard times (or consumption quantities) with the individual costs, time or piece factors.

At the end of an observation period, a productivity result can be calculated for each profit center by confronting the standard with the actual operating costs. Differences can be traced back to consumption deviations (e.g. longer processing times than determined in the process studies), employment deviations (idle times due to a lack of customer demand) or price deviations (e.g. in the case of salary increases not included in the standard costs). Such so-called residual costs must be included in a target contribution margin, but should be minimized in the long term.

Die zentralen Probleme der Kostenrechnung werden mit dem dargestellten Verfahren jedoch allenfalls gemildert. In Bezug auf die Fix-kostenproportionalisierung wird eine Variabilisierung von Utility costs angestrebt. Hinsichtlich der Mengenkomponente dieser Kosten werfen die nicht standardisierbaren, individuell ausgestalteten Bankdienstleistungen Schwierigkeiten auf, zu allgemein gültigen Standardbearbeitungszeiten zu gelangen. Immerhin können Teile dieser Leistungen durch verstärkten Technikeinsatz standardisiert werden, so dass sich hier im Zeitverlauf eine Verbesserung ergeben dürfte.
Wird zur Berechnung der Wertkomponente (Einzelkostenfaktoren) mangels objektiv verfügbarer Daten die maximale oder auch nur Normal-Kapazität einer Kostenstelle herangezogen, so geht man lediglich von der Fiktion aus, dass diese Zeiten frei von Leerzeiten seien, die dann erst in der Restkostenanalyse aufscheinen. Auch entfällt nicht das Gemeinkostenschlüsselungsproblem, da die der Kostenstelle zugerechneten Einzelkosten (z.B. des Abteilungsleiters) in Bezug auf die einzelne Leistung Overhead bleiben. Allerdings mag der verwendete Schlüssel (Standardbearbeitungszeit) sachgerechter sein als das Vorgehen in der Divisionskalkulation. Diese vom Grundsatz her unveränderten Probleme haben dazu geführt, dass auch in der Kreditwirtschaft in den letzten Jahren zunehmend über den Einsatz der Prozesskostenrechnung nachgedacht wird.

Alongside customer business, the central result is the second most important pillar of the overall bank result. The aforementioned results from maturity transformation and those from proprietary trading by the bank are summarized here.

The overhead costs that are not directly attributable to any of the above earnings areas, as typically incurred in numerous staff areas assigned to the Management Board, are also shown separately.

If one also takes extraordinary or other effects on results into account, one arrives at the net profit, which in relation to the equity capital results in the central variable of the return on equity.

ROI analyzes can now examine the individual result components in a time comparison or - at least in the case of credit unions and savings banks - make a comparison as part of the so-called company comparison in order to gain starting points for entrepreneurial action.

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