PREDRAG MIHAJLOVIĆ, President of the Executive board /CEO of Vojvodjanska banka, OTP Group: The Synergy of The Best Solutions

Vojvodjanska banka has become a modern and profitable bank, with successful business indicators and ambition to become the most dynamic and most promising financial institution in the Serbian market

Vojvodjanska banka and OTP bank Serbia have recently completed one of the most complex integrations in the domestic financial market. The Integrated Bank is currently the sixth largest bank in the Serbian market, with almost 6% of market share, more than one million clients and the third largest branch network.

What does the integration mean for the business of Vojvodjanska banka and thus the OTP Group in Serbia?

  • By completing the integration, Vojvodjanska banka has become a modern and profitable bank, with successful business indicators and ambition to become the most dynamic and most promising financial institution in the Serbian market. In the past year, despite the integration process, Vojvodjanska banka and OTP Bank Serbia achieved the overall best performance in the past ten years. We have succeeded in uniting the tradition of Vojvodjanska banka and extremely advanced technology and innovation of OTP. And the real question is what does all of this mean for our one million clients? We have introduced and will continue introducing new services, primarily digital ones. The new Vojvodjanska banka offers an extended range of products and services to clients, representing the synergy of the best solutions, greater efficiency, excellent coverage by 148 branches across the country, innovation culture, and the support of the parent OTP Group as the dominant regional banking group in the Central and Eastern European market.

In addition to Vojvodjanska banka, do you have any other acquisition in your plan in our country and in the region?

  • The Bank is a member of OTP Group, the largest financial services provider in Hungary and a dominant regional banking group in the CEE market. The banking group is present in 10 countries in the region including Hungary, with a client base of 18.5 million in Hungary and in its subsidiaries in Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine. Total assets of OTP Group reached the amount of EUR 45.4 billion with the highest Group’s profitability among European banking groups at end-2018 of over EUR 1 billion. OTP Group is constantly interested in further expanding and growth, thus it has recently expanded to markets of Moldova and Slovenia, while in Serbia in late December 2018 it announced the signing of the agreement to acquire 100% ownership of Societe Generale Bank Serbia. Following the successful completion of this transaction, OTP Group’s market share will be even more evident in Serbia, fulfilling thereby our goals for achieving optimal size.

What potential for growth do you see in our market, why is OTP Group expanding in Serbia? What are the opportunities that you see in the banking sector?

In all markets where it is operating OTP Group takes one of the leading roles. The same ambition exists in our country to become, simultaneously through organic growth and new acquisitions, one of the most important financial institutions. We are already on this path, having in mind that the National Bank of Serbia has recognized us as a systemically important bank for the financial system of Serbia and that we are now the sixth largest bank in our country. Consolidation is an inevitable process which is becoming increasingly

present in our banking system, and in market consolidation we see our opportunities and don’t want to miss them. I will give you an example of Vojvodjanska banka, which in the first four months of this year achieved a profit of 58.7 million euros, in a period when we worked hard to complete the integration. The realised growth through enhancement of services, more competitive products and different client approach is the reason why our total retail and corporate loans achieved significant double-digit growth. I would like to emphasise that the most significant contribution both to the successful integration and generated profit was given by Bank’s employees who through their work enabled the Bank to once again become, in less than two years, a noticeable market competitor after a longer period of time.

OTP Group is in Hungary oriented to digitalization and is a leader in that area. What are the plans for development in that aspect in Serbia?

During the integration process, we encountered numerous challenges, including those in the field of digitalization. By merging the banks, we have gained knowledge and experience of OTP Group and immediate improvements such as enhanced visual identity with improved client customer experience. OTP Group is a pioneer in digitalization and for 25 years it has proactively been operating in the field of digital transformation of its operations, and in the last three years alone has implemented a number of innovative solutions in the financial market. Specific novelties in addition to conventional mobile applications and e-banking include advanced E2E product development that is slowly replacing the current B2B principle as well as digital solutions for easier and more efficient personal transaction processing. Some of these solutions are partially present on the banking market of Serbia, but not fully adjusted to the needs of clients. However, the development of products, services or applications on an individual basis is not the essence of digital transformation for us, but it lies in the integration of the entire ecosystem of organization, consumers and impact on the markets as a whole, where the focus on client is our priority.

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