Experience helps us in creating the future
How does the general trend of economic growth reflects on the activities of your corporate clients. What kind of loan to the economy dominates your portfolio?
– Positive macroeconomic trends in the economy of the Republic of Serbia have influenced the significant growth of the economic activities of our corporate clients and, consequently, the growing need for financial support. Bearing in mind the structure of its sources of financing, the Bank is still more focused on short-term placements. Corporate clients support the acceleration of business turnover through factoring, discounts and, of course, traditional forms of lending. However, our corporate clients are increasingly expressing the need for longer deadlines for loan financing, in order to expand their capacities or to conquer new markets, which is why investment loans record growth in their participation in the Bank’s portfolio.
With the real growth of the balance sheet in the first nine months of 2018, the bank has overachieved its goals set up to 2020. Did you raise the goal ladder in 2019?
– Success is the path, not the destination. We hope that we always set goals that are a challenge, but also the incentive to be even better. At the beginning of 2016, we set the ambious goal that after several years of major losses and the decline in the volume of business activities we turn the trend, stabilize business and results and provide conditions for further growth of the Bank, which has been fully realized. In the last three years, and in particular in 2018, the results of the business have exceeded the number of Bank’s defined goals. Bearing in mind this fact and represented trends in business, during the middle of the current year, there was a need to innovate expectations and business projections to make them more realistic and more aligned with the actual business results that the Bank has achieved. Innovative business projections, which will serve as a basis for the Bank’s business plan for 2019, as well as the Bank’s revised strategy for the next five years, predicted targets for the growth rate of the relevant balance sheet positions as well as the business results achieved, at least doubled in relation to existing strategic goals.
How do you explain the fact that banks, including yours, are recording deposit growth, even though interest rates on savings are very low? Is it good or bad news?
– The level of interest rates is no longer the basic criteria for savings in the Bank, but primarily the safety of savings deposits. Due to fewer alternatives for investing in the population, savings growth is not conditioned by the withdrawal of private investors from other forms of investment, such as, for example, securities, but is primarily the expression of the growing confidence of the depositors in the banking sector of Serbia. This is extremely important for the domestic economy, given that the growing deposit potential of the entire banking sector is affected by the further growth of the volume of financial support of banks to its clients and consequently on further general economic growth. In the earlier period, when banks offered very high interest rates on savings, the same was to some extent the generator of the crisis with which the economy met in one period in our country, bearing in mind that high interest rates were stimulated by high interest rates rates on banks’ placements to clients.
How will you celebrate 40 years jubilee?
– For JUBMES Bank, 2019 is the year of a great jubilee, which will certainly be marked in a special way. The presence on the market for four decades implies an unquestioned quality of business, while on the other hand it poses a great challenge to us. Behind us are decades of experience and continuous improvement of financial expertise, which creates additional value for our customers. However, we do not want to be a bank facing the past but the one facing the future. Summarizing all the great successes of the Yugoslav Bank for International Economic Cooperation and then JUBMES Bank, the attempt to surpass them will not be easy. Our task is to preserve this heritage and adapt it to the modern way of business and the requirements of our clients.
Can a small bank counter the big players in the banking market that is expanding?
– We are extremely proud of the fact that we have a low rate of outflow of customers, despite the undisputed strong competition. There are market niches that are not in the focus of large players, and which fewer banks like JUBMES are serving efficiently. We provide our customers with unique know how accumulated during the decade and various development phases of the Bank. The specific business concept, largely based on the size of the Bank, provides full customer service, regardless of whether it is a physical or legal entity.