6th December 2022

Spuerkeess the ideal partner for the international community

In Luxembourg, nearly one in three of the active workforce is a foreigner and almost half of the working population are residents of our neighbouring countries. The country has a big expat community, foreigners that come to work and live in Luxembourg for a period of time. We spoke to our colleague Simône van Schouwenburg about our Spuerkeess onboarding services for new arrivers to Luxembourg.

Simône, can you tell our readers how long you have been in Luxembourg and how you came about working here?

Like many people having started to work in Luxembourg we all end up staying.

Incredible to say but yes, as a Dutchy (!)  after the US, London and Paris I started to work in the Grand Duchy already 22 years ago! My husband at the time, whom I had met in London had been offered a position in Luxembourg and we decided to settle on the French side of the border, taking into consideration that my son, born in Paris had already moved five times by the age of ten, and had been in the French schooling system.

Looking back, I must admit that I feel a little regret that we did not move to Luxembourg at that time. But even back then, the housing market was already quite expensive, a fact that as we all know has since not changed!

 

At Spuerkeess you are in charge of business development and expat services, what does this exactly entail?

When I arrived at Spuerkeess three years ago, I had been asked to set up the Expat Desk. Today the term Expat is not that appropriate anymore and I much prefer to call our service “onboarding of new arrivers in Luxembourg”. However our client love to be part of the Expat community Luxembourg.

An Expat for Spuerkeess is a person that has signed a work contract and will start to work and live in Luxembourg.

Our package includes, besides classical banking services, preferential conditions on various banking services.

We facilitate the opening of the bank account ahead of the client’s arrival and enable transfers into the account, debit and/or credit cards to order ahead of time so everything is ready upon arrival and our customers will be able to start their job without stress.

Furthermore, we have created an expat guide to Luxembourg and a platform with many services one needs when arriving in a new country.

We have created multiple partnerships such as: insurance, telecommunication, home search, relocation services, private car lease and many more.

Our principal aim is to allow our clients to concentrate on their new job, familiarize themselves with their new surroundings while providing them with the peace of mind knowing of properly arranged banking services ahead of time.

Can you describe your typical workday?

My day to day primary activity consists in onboarding new arrivals via our various Expat partners or directly via our website.

As the "chef d’orchestre", my responsibility is to provide our future clients with information and explanations concerning our various products and services and, sometimes, guide them into a different banking system than in their country of origin. Hence, ensuring that the onboarding process goes smoothly, resolve any potential problems and acting as the “transmission belt” between our Expat partners, clients, my colleagues in the Bank’s branches and back office.

I also nurture the relation with our diverse Expat partners by visiting their premises, keeping them up to date with new products or regulations or even involve them as speakers in conferences and events. Through pro-active appointments with potential clients, I provide them with every detail to guide their future arrivals towards the Spuerkeess "Expat Service". My networking leads to cross selling between our in house departments.

Another important part of my activity is to create events and visibility around the Expat International Community Luxembourg. Recent events organized at our building 19Lib, are:

  • 10x6 "60 minutes in Luxembourg" in cooperation PaperJam-Delano Business Club,
  • the ChinaLux Expat event (Chinese Chamber),
  • the HR L&L conference for our Corporate Package companies,

The upcoming “Women workshops” for Expats spouses following their partners to Luxembourg and are willing to set up their own business, etc.

Spuerkeess also promotes and sponsors external events with several Chambers of Commerce (International community), at this moment, The British Chamber, The American Chamber, The French Chamber and Chinese Chamber. We could work with many more chambers but lack of time is an issue.

Participations to conferences, events for networking and promote our bank, diverse articles published around the Expat Community (International School, Education Guide, Delano publicity, City Savvy, Lux WMN, Expatica, Just arrived, etc) are amongst my activities.   

All this provides us with the opportunity to generate additional visibility and shine a light on our added value "Expat Services".