The integration of OTP banka Srbija and Vojvođanska banka, as a strategic move of the OTP Group, has the aim of forming a leading bank on the domestic market. This will provide a huge contribution to the further improvement of the user experience, innovation, digitalisation, development and the stability of the banking sector
“The needs of our clients direct us, while innovations inspire us. Guided by this, we strive to work better and differently in both banks, in order to contribute to our own business success and the success of our clients,” notes OTP banka Srbija CEO Predrag Mihajlović.
Alongside your usual duties, you are also in charge of implementing the process of integrating OTP banka Srbija and Vojvođanska banka, while you have the role of the project’s executive sponsor. Can you tell more about the dynamics of this big and important job?
The integration process began at the end of 2019, while the merger of OTP banka and Vojvođanska banka is expected in the next year and represents the most complex project being implemented on our financial market. This strategic move by the OTP Group, which owns both banks, has the objective of forming a leading bank on the domestic market.
The responsibility is great and full of challenges, but I’m primarily proud of the 3,200 colleagues who diligently perform their jobs every day at both banks, while at the same time being committed to the merger project. I consider that we have the strongest management structure that is able to successfully complete the task of integration whilst maintaining a strategic focus on further improving the user experience, innovation and digitalisation.
What kind of results has the OTP Group achieved on our market to date by operating through both banks?
We recorded record results in Serbia last year, and that was a year in which one integration process was completed and another was launched. Total net loans amounted to 3.2 billion euros and with that we gained a market share of as much as 16 per cent, securing the number one position on the market, with annual growth of loans exceeding eight per cent.
We achieved growth in net profits of 17 per cent, i.e. in the amount of 89.2 million euros, with which we took a strong second place on the banking market.
Results show that the group made the right move with its acquisitions in Serbia
Operating revenues increased by 15 per cent compared to 2018, reaching a level of 263.4 million euros. We also directed our activities towards cost optimisation, which resulted in them being reduced by six per cent and contributed to a significant increase in net results, and that’s not the end – we expect to see the full effect of optimisation after the merger of OTP and Vojvođanska banks. With our total assets of 4.7 billion euros and a market share of 13 per cent, we rank second in Serbia.
Given that you are focused strategically on innovation, what novelties can your clients expect?
During last year and this, we’ve introduced numerous improvements to processes and functionality. In our online branch, clients can realise a cash loan, receive an approved overdraft facility, buy insurance… Sending money between friends and family members has been simplified with the P2P option within the scope of mobile applications. For users of Android phones, the mCard option has been enabled – allowing payments via mobile phones – and we will soon also introduce Apple Pay. The service we launched this month allows the withdrawing of cash loans via mobile phones – mKeš [mCash]. The National Bank of Serbia also encouraged us to further improve the user experience. With the introduction of the Instant payment system, citizens are able to carry out fast transactions and, as of this year, to make payments with the help of the IPS QR code.
We are recognised as a pioneer of innovation and digitalisation, and we’ve also transferred that to domestic entrepreneurship. This year’s fourth Generator Game Changer is intended precisely for those who have a new idea or ready-made solution and who want to innovate, in order to help small and medium-sized enterprises.