Published: May 4, 2017
A round-up of the winning banks, investment banks, brokers and asset managers from this year's EBA's.
After a pretty topsy-turvy 2015, one could be forgive for feeling that 2016 was like moving from the washing machine into the dryer at times with elections and referendum results that are still being absorbed and worked through the body-politic, business community and public at large.
Despite the surprises that the year provided, the European banking sector reflected a welcomed level of calm. The year was particularly productive for our winners who continue to invest in their businesses, embrace change, and at the end of the year registered significant profits.
In fact, we are delighted to be able to look back across the year and report that European banks have embraced crises, whether it is a credit or commodity driven one, as opportunities to improve operational performance, to innovate, to reinvent and to partner where possible.
In keeping with these positive trends, Moody’s reports that “capital levels across Europe are now close to full Basel III compliance and most banks already comply with the 3% leverage ratio coming into force in the European Union (EU) by 2018”. This year is expected to be challenging still, with banks having to operate in a low interest rate environment, and deal with a myriad number of challenges like cost pressures and non-bank challengers.
The future will not be less competitive. And, banking, particularly on the commercial retail level, is changing fast with the emergence of new non-financial players. We are, however, very confident that our winners are already working hard to redefine themselves, while continuing to place their emphasis on exceeding customer needs and expectations.
CEE & CIS
Best bank: Raiffeisen Bank International
Best investment bank: UniCredit
Most innovative bank: Tatra banka
Corporate social responsibility award: Pasha Bank
Best law firm: Schoenherr
Best product launch: Tatra banka’s generation two mobile app
CEO of the year: Levon Hampartzoumain, UniCredit Bulbank
Another step forward for our best bank in the CEE & CIS, Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI), who continue their run in the ‘black’ generating a consolidated profit of €463mn, and completing its merger with parent RZB. The bank’s swift and effective actions to restore profitability, restructure in the Ukraine, and decisive moves to focus on certain, what it considers to be ‘core markets’ while exiting others, places the bank at least one year ahead of schedule on its revamped strategic plan.
RBI is intent to continue with the good progress made lowering its NPLs as well, and has set a target of NPLs of around eight percent by the end of 2017. “We are very satisfied with the significant reduction in risk costs and the improvement of our NPL ratio. The reduction in risk costs could be achieved in almost all of our markets, which is especially pleasing,” said Johann Strobl, RBI’s new CEO after the merger. .