AIK Bank‘s purchase of Alpha Bank is just one in a series of expected changes on the domestic banking market. The consolidation of the market is a natural process dictated by market conditions, and which should lead to greater efficiency of banking processes, says Jelena Galić, CEO at AIK Bank.
What are your predictions for the banking sector in the period ahead?
– Considering that a large number of banks operate on the relatively tight Serbian market, the consolidation of the market was expected. Increased competition in the financial services sector, coupled with technological innovation, will lead to more efficient and socalled client-centric processes, which will ultimately result in reducing the costs of banking services. We see AIK Bank as being one of the key players in the market consolidation process, as well as in the process of introducing technological innovations, which will strive, actively and responsibly, to strengthen its position on the local and regional markets, as well as in opening up towards the EU market.
After purchasing Alpha Bank, which now operates under the name Jubanka, what are your specific further plans and ambitions when it comes to expansion on the local market, but also, as you say, on the regional markets?
– The strategic goal of AIK Bank over the next few years is to become one of the leading banks on the domestic market and one of the most significant players in the region. We plan to achieve this by continuously improving our client-focused services, by developing new products in the investment banking domain, but also by assuming an active and responsible role in the process of consolidating the banking sector. When it comes to the region, it is indisputable that our recently realised partnership with Slovenia’s Gorenjska Banka opened our route towards the EU market. We closely monitor developments not only in Slovenia, but also in other neighbouring countries of the region and in markets able to contribute to our growth and the achieving of our strategic goal. It is important to note that, alongside cooperation in terms of banking services, we endeavour to contribute to improving of relations in other areas of economic activity, with the aim of developing and deepening regional cooperation.
The recently realised partnership with Slovenia’s Gorenjska Banka opened our route towards the EU market
AIK Bank is among the leaders in the segment of innovative and modern banking services. Do you think digitisation is sufficiently present in the domestic banking system?
– Digitisation is unavoidable if you plan to stay in the market game. It is very important to set a digitisation strategy optimally against market absorption opportunities and user preferences. I consider that, in that sense, the domestic banking sector is competitive with trends in Europe. AIK Bank, as one of its strategic directions, especially in the segment of providing services to the retail segment and SMEs, is focused on developing digital services. In an era of an increasingly stronger presence of virtual communications and a shortage of time, clients increasingly value services that imply savings in terms of time, as well as 24/7 availability. The client will use a service that is easily accessible to them, can be carried out quickly and allows them to manage their funds in a simple way. This is unavoidable for the further development of banking services, and we are striving to be among the leading banks in Serbia in terms of implementing online services that enable this.