By acquiring Komercijalna Banka, the NLB Group has significantly boosted its presence in Serbia
NLB Bank is a reliable partner in personal and business plans of its clients, offering a wide range of banking products and services, tailored to their customers’ lifestyle, personal and professional needs. We talked with the CEO of NLB Banka Beograd, Branko Greganović, about new, customized services and the way of doing business during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as about other changes
When you look back on last year, what would you single out when it comes to the business operations of NLB Banka?
In 2020, we all had to quickly adapt to a situation that brought a lot of uncertainties. Of course, in that situation, preserving the health of our employees, clients and our families was the most important imperative. On the other hand, we had to maintain business activities so that our clients could complete all their bank operations in the best possible way and have access to the funds in their accounts at all times. That was not always easy, especially during the state of emergency and for certain segments of clients, but from this perspective, I can say that I am extremely satisfied with the way not only NLB Banka, but the entire banking system responded to these challenges.
The increased use of digital services and contactless payments is certainly something that marked last year. In conditions of limited mobility and the need to reduce the number of physical contacts with other people, a number of clients have decided to use electronic and mobile banking. Contactless payment has become much more important because, in addition to its efficiency and simplicity, making payment in this way was safe health-wise. In order to this kind of payment, we ensured that our clients could activate mobile banking services without physically going to a branch. We also provided new services, NLB Pay digital wallet and instant QR code payment, as well as the new ATMs that are used without inserting the card into the reader.
Finally, for us, from NLB Banka and the entire NLB Group, the acquisition of Komercijalna Banka by our parent company from Ljubljana at the end of the year is certainly very important, because, thanks to the acquisition, the NLB Group has significantly boosted its presence in Serbia, where it will have a market share of more than 12%. In this way, the NLB Group will become one of the leading banks in all countries in which it operates, which is a truly unique position in this region.
What can NLB Banka and Komercijalna Banka’s clients expect in the coming period?
Until the integration process is completed, which is planned for April next year, we will operate as two separate banks within the NLB Group. However, during this period, clients will have the opportunity to use some benefits already, and the first of them is withdrawing money at ATMs of both banks without commission in all countries in which we operate. We are also preparing a welcome package with a number of benefits for both new and existing clients.
Our clients can activate mobile banking services without physically going to a branch
In the coming period, we will continue to improve products and services in accordance with our Group’s standards, creating simple and efficient solutions to our clients for all situations in which they need support to realize their personal and business plans. Digitalization will play the most important role because we want to enable clients to cooperate with the bank in a way they will not waste their time by coming to one of our branches.
What would you single out when it comes to Corporate Social Responsibility last year?
Like the other companies, we have also supported the fight against COVID-19 with donations for the purchase of medical equipment, test materials and protective equipment, in order to help those medical workers on the front line to protect themselves. Furthermore, we realized that part of the economy was seriously affected by the consequences of the pandemic, so we decided, at the Group level, to support small businesses. We launched the #HelpFrame Project, through which we created a valuable package of advertising space for small businesses in order to help them reach as many customers as possible and thus recover from the effects of the pandemic. In this way, we have provided support for 280 small businesses from the region, 30 of which are from Serbia, and this year, owing to a great interest, we will implement this project again.
Finally, I would like to single out our NLB Organic competition, during which, conclusive with 2020, 501 projects of organic producers were submitted. This year, NLB Organic will mark its significant jubilee – a decade of supporting healthy ideas. As a part of a group that strives to be an ambassador of sustainability in this region, we are extremely proud that an increasing number of organic producers are applying to participate in the NLB Organic competition every year because organic production not only represents a great opportunity for individual producers and Serbian agriculture as a whole, but it is an excellent example of sustainable production.