Last year Volksbank Romania registered a loss before taxes of EUR 36 M, in contrast to a EUR 51.7 M profit in 2009, the bank’s data shows. The costs incurred by bank provisions represented the main reason for the loss, against the backdrop in which they doubled from EUR 69.8 M in 2009 to EUR 153.4 M last year. At the same time, the net revenues from interest dropped by 5.88 per cent to EUR 142 M as a consequence of the drops in EURIBOR and CHF LIBOR. Operational revenues grew by 1.75 (EUR 3 M) last year as a consequence of revenues from trading operations, while revenues from commissions remained at a constant level.
“We are aware of the problems we have, especially the PR problems. That is why we want to position ourselves in the Home Bank area. The institution was financed from abroad for a long time, but now we plan to finance ourselves from the local market alone. We want a conservative risk policy, we’re not here to do speculative deals. That is why we are aware that we have to restart our engines,” Volksbank Romania President Johann Lurf stated yesterday during a press conference. He announced that the bank wants a market share of 3-4 per cent for 3-5 years for all its products.
The bank nevertheless announced that it managed to maintain the cost/revenues ratio at a low level of 31 per cent. Its total assets dropped from EUR 5.2 bln in December 2009 to EUR 4.8 bln at the end of 2010. Total liabilities grew from EUR 3.1 bln in 2009 to EUR 3.2 bln in December 2010. According to Volksbank Romania Vice President, Lucian Croitoru, the number of banking units dropped from 181 in 2010 to 185 in 2009 and to 155 so far this year. Employees were laid off too, their number dropping from 1,413 in 2009 to 1,372 in 2010. Nevertheless, the bank plans to invest EUR 2 M in human resources in the following period.
In what concerns the rumored sale of the Romanian subsidiary, a rumor that appeared in the Austrian press at the end of last year, Lurf pointed out that the banking group did not receive any concrete offers and there are no discussions on splitting the bank into several parts in order to make a takeover easier. Referring to the effects of Government Ordinance 50, Johann Lurf stated: “An estimate would be EUR 10 M if apart from direct losses we also take into account all internal efforts.”