Czech Authorities Approve the Opening of PKO Bank Polski Czech Branch
- Only two months after sending the notification to the Czech supervisory authorities, the Bank received an approval for commencement of operations by PKO Bank Polski Czech Branch.
- The process of procuring supervisory approvals started with a notification application submitted in June this year to the Financial Supervision Authority was thereby completed.
- Opening of the corporate branch in Czech Republic is a continuation of the strategy of supporting foreign expansion of Polish companies.
The last formal step for PKO Bank Polski in Prague to initiate operation is an entry in the Czech trade register. Simultaneously, meetings with customers will be organised who are interested in services of the PKO Branch in Czech Republic.
– Foreign expansion, streamlining internationalisation of the Polish economy, is an important element of development of PKO Bank Polski Capital Group. Cooperation of Polish companies operating abroad with a domestic bank creates conducive conditions for expansion. A Polish bank understands the needs of domestic companies better and is familiar with the specific character of individual companies; therefore, it is capable of tailoring the offer to their needs more accurately – says Maks Kraczkowski, Deputy President of the Management Board of PKO Bank Polski.
Corporate Customer Division
The Bank branch located in Czech Republic will operate under the name of PKO Bank Polski Czech Branch. Its start is planned for the first half of 2017. Operation of the branch will focus on servicing corporate clients, i.e. it will be analogous to the operation of the corporate division of PKO Bank Polski in Frankfurt (opened in December 2015). The branch’s offer will also be similar; it will include: transaction banking (including international cash pooling), electronic banking, trade finance and corporate credit. The Bank, via the Prague branch, also intends to procure clients from the group of Czech companies operating in Poland.
Czech Republic – A Major Economic Partner of Polish Companies
The Bank’s customers are companies operating at multiple world markets or companies that aspire to developing their operation at foreign markets. Czech Republic is one of the most important markets for the Bank’s corporate customers, thence the decision about opening the second branch (the first one was opened in December last year in Frankfurt am Mein) in Czech Republic. Czech Republic occupies the fifth place with respect to the commercial turnover of Polish companies (after Germany, Russia, China and Italy); it is the second largest recipient of Polish goods and ranks seventh with respect to Polish import. The export of Polish companies to Czech Republic is growing year by year. In 2015, its value amounted to EUR 11.8 billion and was 10% higher than in 2014. The perspective for direct investments of Polish companies in Czech Republic is also favourable. In 2015, it amounted to almost EUR 1.5 billion and by 2020, their share should reach EUR 1.7 billion. Annually, over 300 companies with the share of Polish capital on the level of 25% are established in Czech Republic.
PKO Bank Polski continues to support foreign expansion of Polish companies
Opening of the corporate branch of PKO Bank Polski in Czech Republic is an element of international expansion of the Bank which assumes following the customers. In parallel, the offer of financing trade at distant market is being developed. The Bank cooperates with several dozen correspondent banks in China and in other countries in the Far East. It cooperates with Japanese banks, it is active in South Korea, in Australia and the antipodes. PKO Bank Polski reinforces its potential for mutual settlements also in the region of the Persian Gulf. The Bank is a strategic partner of Polski Fundusz Rozwoju Group with respect to making the support offer for export available. The value of support offered by the PFR as part of the International Expansion Programme of Polish Companies may total PLN 60 billion; the PFR will manage the financial products and accounting products, whereas PKO Bank Polski will be responsible for their distribution.
PKO Bank Polski is the indisputable leader in the Polish banking sector. In 2015, according to the consolidated data, its net profit amounted to PLN 2.61 billion, whereas the balance sheet total was PLN 266.9 billion. In total, in the course of the last five years, the assets of PKO Capital Group increased by PLN 100 billion – both as a result of organic growth and merger with Nordea Bank Polska, evaluated as one of the best managed mergers at the market. Efficient implementation of the growth strategy made PKO Bank Polski one of the highest positioned domestic companies in the recent edition of the Forbes Global 2000 ranking, encompassing largest stock-listed companies in the world. It is also the most valuable brand on the domestic financial market, estimated by the Rzeczpospolita daily at PLN 3.6 billion. The Bank has the broadest offer of services on the market which was awarded a number of times and it is the basic supplier of financial services for all segments of customers, having greatest share on the credit market (17.5%) and deposit market (16.8%). It is a leader with respect to the servicing of the self-government sector – its share in the financing of local governments with credit facilities amounts to 20%, whereas the share in the segment of municipal bonds exceeds 40%. Thanks to ongoing improvement of service quality, PKO Bank Polski is a cyclical winner in the bank hotline survey conducted by ARC Rynek i Opinia. In 2014, PKO Bank Polski was distinguished with the “Bank of the Year in Poland” award of the “The Banker” monthly magazine which belongs to the Financial Times. The Bank also won the prestigious competition “Distribution & Marketing Innovation in Retail Financial Services” organised by Efma, where the project of transforming the mobile IKO app into a market payment standard BLIK was determined the best international innovation in payment.