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Vuk Kosovac, Executive Board Member And Head Of Retail At OTP Banka Srbija

Green Agenda Is OTP Banka’s Strategic Direction

As the number one lender to businesses and households, and a leading provider of factoring and leasing services, OTP banka has almost 200 branches in 90 towns and cities, 306 ATMs, nearly 3,000 employees and 750,000 active clients. Over the last two years, the bank has accelerated its innovation and digitalisation, as well as deciding to embark on the path of green transition

We have a special responsibility towards society, which is why environmentally sustainable operations represent the new orientation of OTP banka. In order for our vision not to remain just an unrealised plan on paper, we launched Generator ZERO, as one of the initiatives – notes OTP banka’s Vuk Kosovac.

You are recording excellent operational results. It appears as though you haven’t experienced the crisis and pandemic solely as sources of problems?

We are a bank that solves problems; that directs its efforts every day towards being better and providing all of our clients with services of the maximum quality. When the pandemic began, we found ourselves confronted by an unexpected test: to organise all processes, decisions and operations in such a way that neither clients, employees, nor results suffer.

And we reached a solution that required numerous strategic adjustments. However, that’s why we’re now the number one bank in Serbia when it comes to lending to businesses and households, with net profit of 54 million euros at the end of the third quarter of this year, representing 100 per cent growth compared to the same period of last year.

We’re recording 12 per cent growth in the retail segment, while home loan production has grown 80 per cent compared to the same period of last year. All of that combined testifies to the fact that we succeeded; that we identified and offered the best solutions for our clients.

OTP banka is no.1 creditor in Serbia, to both retail and corporate clients

The post-covid business environment will probably differ completely from the previous one, because it won’t be enough to merely follow technological trends. Does this mean that agility and accelerated digitalisation will be key factors of progress?

Absolutely, because our habits are changing, and much faster than predicted. For example, we’ve recorded around four million e-commerce transactions to date, which represents a year-on-year increase of 40 per cent. All these trends compel us to invest even more in development and innovation, and in our solutions being new and harmonised with shifting needs.

I must stress the significance of the fact that we’re part of the strong OTP Group, because it’s important for accelerated digitalisation to have this kind of expertise from other markets.

Our clients today expect new solutions in terms of card payments, integrated payment models that are simple for traders, but also the introduction of cloud certificates, which will enable them to sign documents with the bank via their mobile device, with the exception of high-capital value contracts. With this we save their time, but also the consumption paper, thereby optimising the use of resources. We are also awaited in the coming period by the applying of an innovation that comes to us from the Group, which has begun working with partners to develop the fastest A.I. supercomputer in Europe. This relates to a technology that can very quickly process huge quantities of textual information and data. Thanks to this, our clients will have faster and more personalised financial services.

You recently announced a new contest for your Generator project. What can you tell us about that?

Generator Zero is dedicated to supporting and rewarding innovative projects that offer sustainable solutions that can have a real and measurable impact on reducing the carbon footprint. The contest runs until 20th December this year and is intended for SMEs and micro enterprises, start-up companies and informal start-up teams and entrepreneurs. We will award the best solution two million dinars, as well as long-term expert support in the areas of business expansion and identifying new development opportunities, while our project partners will also award valuable prizes for the best solutions.

We are present in 90 cities, with almoust 200 branches, 306 ATMs, nearly 3,000 employees and 750,000 active clients

New York-based specialised magazine Global Finance declared OTP Group the best bank in several categories. What are all the areas in which you’re the best? Is it also true that you officially have the best innovation ideas in the world?

OTP Group has received several awards from this prestigious magazine, including for the best bank for small and medium-sized enterprises and for the best bank for private banking in Central and Eastern Europe. Similarly, it also received the award for the best financial innovation laboratory in the world, on the basis of financial indicators, quality of service and innovative solutions implemented in the preceding year.

For us, the accolade for the best bank for private banking is particularly important, because private banking clients have specific and very high expectations of their banks. That’s something that we recognised on time and why we’ve included in our offer – for several years already – a wide range of banking services, investment and financial advice tailored especially for them, as well as our asset management knowhow through the Eminent Package.

We understand the local private banking market and can additionally crisscross our different areas of expertise, such as corporate business, leasing and insurance, and we want to provide the most to our clients, in order for us to utilise the full potential of our activities and assets.

Photo by Nebojša Babić, Orange Studio

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