Further consolidation of the Polish banking sector on horizon
The year 2009 was challenging not only for banks in Poland but also for the entire financial services industry in the country. Unprecedented currency volatility, a growing number of nonperforming assets and slower growth rates of client volumes (loans and deposits) were key problems that banks had to face during the past year. Nevertheless, despite the global crisis, the overall performance of the sector was surprisingly strong. Banks operating in Poland recorded a combined ~50 billion PLN in total revenue and almost 9 billion PLN in net profit, a year-over-year change of +2% and -36% respectively.
The deepening crisis initiated long-expected M&A activity. Banks such as AIG, GMAC and WestLB changed hands, while Noble and Getin Bank, Fortis, Dominet, BPH and GE all consolidated their activities to reduce costs and improve performance. Some upcoming mergers might be even more exciting. In early 2010, the troubled Irish AIB announced sale of its Polish subsidiary, Bank Zachodni WBK, the #5 bank in Poland in terms of assets. There are at least a dozen bidders considering an investment, according to the press.
The near-term outlook for the banking sector remains very challenging. Stagnating volumes and low flow of new customers will force banks to battle aggressively for their competitors’ clients. Banks are likely to shift resources to upgrade remote channels and services to reduce operating costs in the future. These cost benefits will be passed on to customers in the form of lower fees and more-attractive service conditions. Offering more value will inevitably become the chief tactic banks utilize to attract new clients and retain existing ones in the coming years.
For more information on recent developments in the Polish banking market, please refer to the publication "BANKING MARKET IN POLAND 2010-2012," available at: www.intelace.com/publications.html
ABOUT INTELACE RESEARCH
Intelace Research is an independent consulting company that focuses on the financial markets in Central and Eastern Europe. Intelace Research specializes in management consulting and custom research services, including market entry strategy, product launch, performance and benchmarking analysis.
During 2005-2010, Intelace Research provided its products and services to more than 50 clients, including major CEE banks and several "The Banker" top world banks. To learn more about the company, visit Intelace Research’s webpage: www.intelace.com .
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