2017 is the year when Raiffeisen Bank celebrates 20 years in Romania. The bank plays an important role in the Romanian society, not only in the light of the 2 million clients private individuals who the bank serves, the 100,000 SMEs and 5,700 companies, but also due to its over 5,000 employees.
“This year marks our 20 year anniversary in Romania and I am very proud of our accomplishments so far. We will maintain our focus regarding the development of our current customer relationships, while attracting new customers to maintain a balanced and constant growth in all segments. At the same time, our efforts go towards innovation and simplification of banking interactions. Our customers require a simpler and faster interaction with us, their expectations growing at the same pace with technology, and we have to meet them. The fact is that the face of banking is changing, and we want be more than part of the change, we want to be groundbreakers, as we succeeded so many times before”, said Steven van Groningen, President & CEO Raiffeisen Bank.
The bank’s net loans increased in the past 12 months by 3 per cent, to 4.32 billion; new loans amounted to EUR 1.4 billion, of which more than a third was granted to private individuals. As for large corporate, the bank recorded increased financing in areas such as: health services, infrastructure, retail, auto, procurement, but also in real estate, by successfully financing and refinancing relevant projects in Bucharest, Cluj Napoca or Timisoara. The bank’s efforts in providing accessible financing solutions to local businesses are reflected in our preoccupation to provide easy financing to small and medium enterprises. In May 2017, Raiffeisen Bank signed two new agreements with European Investment Fund (EIF), amounting to EUR 387 million in total, under COSME and SMEs Initiative programs, which will facilitate SMEs’ access to funds for the next three years. In the first part of the year, the balance of loans to SMEs increased by 10 per cent. At the same time, SME customers became more active in terms of transactions, thus performing around 3.6 million operations. SME deposits also did well, increasing by approximately 30 per cent. In order to support entrepreneurs in expanding and managing their businesses more efficiently, the bank launched at the beginning of the year the “Catalizator” platform. This program is structured in practical sessions and addresses important topics for entrepreneurs who have reached a certain business consistency (e.g.: how to build a successful business strategy and organizational culture, how to promote brand image, financial management, sales growth, team management etc.). Moreover, this program aims to facilitate building a healthy business community that shares ideas, business opportunities and valuable business relationships.
The bank was also active in transactions on the capital market. Raiffeisen Bank was part of the intermediation consortium for the largest secondary IPO of a company listed on the Bucharest Stock Market (RON 945 million) – Digi Communications NV, majority shareholder of RCS&RDS, one of the main telecommunications services providers in Romania and Hungary.
Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen, the Private Banking division of Raiffeisen Bank Romania, was awarded 2017’s Best Private Banking Service in Romania by Euromoney. This is the third consecutive year when this distinction is awarded by Euromoney, taking into account the full range of services: financial advisory, access to financial instruments and related services. The bank continued to support some of the most prestigious cultural and sports events in Romania: Sibiu International Theatre Festival, Transilvania International Film Festival – TIFF, SoNoRo, UNITER Awards Gala, productions and tours of Act Theatre, Bucharest International Marathon and “Via Maria Theresia” Marathon. Furthermore, Raiffeisen Bank continued to contribute in 2017 to the programs carried out by some of the most active non-governmental organizations in the country: Green Revolution Association, OvidiuRo Association, The Association for Community Relationships, Tășuleasa Social Association, The Princess Margareta of Romania Foundation, United Way, Romania Junior Achievement, Teach for Romania, The Civic Society Development Foundation or Habitat for Humanity.