The Banker Announces Bank of the Year Awards; Here Are the Best in SEE

The Banker magazine announced the Bank of The Year Awards. Here are the banks that ranked as the best in the South East Europe in its 2023 edition:

Albania: OTP Bank Albania

OTP Bank Albania consolidated its market position in the last 12 months, with strong financial results and its purchase of medium-sized Alpha Bank Albania from its Greek parent, The Banker said.

The merger was finalised in December last year. The bank’s net profits increased by 65% last year to reach 26.5 million.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Raiffeisen Bank dd Bosna i Hercegovina

“In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Raiffeisen Bank has embarked on a significant customer relationship management transformation, which has proven to be instrumental to its success, as evidenced in its Bank of the Year win,” the magazine said.

Bulgaria: UniCredit Bulbank

“In Bulgaria, UniCredit Bulbank has continued consolidating its position in the corporate and retail banking segments by achieving 12 consecutive months of increased market share,” The Banker said.

The bank posted a net profits of 465.9 million BGN (237.7 million euro), 51% more than in 2021.

“The bank says the main contributor to operating income growth was net interest income, supported by growth in lending volumes and the optimisation of excess liquidity,” it added.

Croatia: OTP banka
The past few years have seen OTP banka achieve constant development and growth of business indicators above the market average, the magazine said.

Kosovo: BKT Kosovo

With a clear strategic vision to be Kosovo’s customer-focused digital leader and integrated financial services provider, BKT Kosovo embarked on the next chapter of its digital transformation using robotic process automation (RPA) to automate repetitive and mundane tasks, The Banker said.

Montenegro: Crnogorska Komercijalna Banka

In 2023, Crnogorska Komercijalna Banka (CKB) adopted a strategic vision based on three key goals: sustainable growth, decreasing its cost-to-income ratio and increasing return on investments.

“Between 2020 and 2022, its cost-to-income ratio has fallen from 62% to 47.7%,” The Banker said.

Many of these cost savings and efficiencies are driven by a desire to drive greater digitalisation across the bank,” it added.

North Macedonia: Komercijalna Banka AD Skopje

“At the beginning of 2023, Komercijalna Banka enabled the use of remote electronic digital identification for individual customers via the software company Nextsense’s OneID app,” the magazine said.

“It is a leader in North Macedonia in the introduction of concrete services with electronic identification (e-ID), which will enable customers to access financial services more quickly and safely, and from anywhere in the world,” it added.

Romania: BRD Groupe Société Générale

“Horizons 2025 is a new transformation programme within BRD Groupe Société Générale aimed at making the organisation more customer-centric so it can provide more relevant and personalised services,” The Banker said, adding that the new programme focuses on customer satisfaction and digitalisation, and making the bank’s business more sustainable and efficient.

The bank posted a 1.6% rise in Tier 1 capital, 6.9% increase in assets and its net profit rose by 1.4% in 2022.

Serbia: Banca Intesa Beograd

“Banca Intesa Beograd aims to provide customers with unique solutions that streamline their business and foster the development of Serbia’s digital economy,” The Banker said.

“With the help of international development banks, such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Banca Intesa has brought the Western Balkans Youth in Business programme to the local market, to provide financial and technical assistance for youth-led micro, small and medium-sized enterprises,” it added.

Slovenia: SKB banka dd Ljubljana

SKB banka dd Ljubljana successfully concluded the 2022 financial year with a net profit of 61.1 million euro, which was 15.1 million euro more than a year earlier.

“The net profit generated a 13.9% return on equity — more than 300 basis points (bps) higher compared to 2021 — which SKB says puts it among the most profitable in the Slovenian banking sector,” The Banker said.

The bank increased its market share in loans to 10.8% and in deposits to 9.2%.

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