NLB Banka is certainly among the most important Slovenian-owned companies operating across the entire region, including in the Serbian market. Based on the agreement signed between the headquarters of the NLB Group and the Government of the Republic of Serbia on the purchase of shares of Komercijalna Banka, NLB Banka is expected to gain even more importance
The “Frame of Help” project is set to be launched soon, with the aim of providing assistance to SME companies and entrepreneurs in the region which had their operations disrupted by the pandemic. We want to help them more easily reach their costumers, says NLB Banka Beograd’s CEO Branko Greganović.
What are your expectations for the Serbian market in the period ahead?
– On the one hand, the period that’s ahead for all of us certainly isn’t an easy one. Behind us are two months of a state of emergency, uncertainty and limited business activities, especially in certain industries, while ahead of us is a period in which it is necessary to relaunch the economy and revive the companies that have been hit hardest by the consequences of the Coronavirus pandemic.
All this is happening under unclear circumstances and uncertainty, because we don’t know what awaits us in the autumn, not only at the local level but also regionally and at the global level given that both the Serbian and Slovenian economies are dependent on international business partners.
We’ve also focused on supporting the economy in the domain of CSR during this period
On the other hand, the fact that the Government of the Republic of Serbia recognised us as the most suitable strategic partner for Komercijalna Banka will certainly change a lot when it comes to our approach to the Serbian market. Like our members operating in other markets, NLB Banka will become a systemic bank in Serbia, and that not only means a significant increase in market share but also carries an additional responsibility for the stability of the Serbian financial system.
We must be even more ready to support clients, to recognise their needs and respond in an adequate way and we will also have to assume a significant role in the wider community as one of the most important participants in the market. This applies even more to us who are a part of the regional group which is headquartered here and has a sole strategic focus on this region which as we like to say is – our home.
What are you planning in this regard? How will you support the economy in the period ahead?
– First and foremost, we’ve joined the financing programme in accordance with the Decree of guarantee scheme of the Government of Serbia, within the scope of which we provide support to entrepreneurs and SMEs, and within the framework of this programme we’ve already approved a significant number of loans to companies that need support at this juncture. We also participate in the programme of subsidised loans of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, in which we’ve had a leading position in the previous period, a position we plan to retain.
Moreover, we just launched the ninth NLB Organic competition, through which we will this year again provide support to three farming families. We generally consider that organic producers deserve special support because they engage in sustainable production that contributes to human health and the preserving of natural resources. That is why we believe that they need support even more at this moment.
In addition to this, we are also launching the Frame of Help project, the implementation of which has already begun in Slovenia and will be launched also in other markets of NLB Group’s operations in the coming weeks. This project aims to help entrepreneurs and small companies in the region who have seen their operations disrupted by the pandemic and who we want to promote, to help them reach their customers and grow their business.