Bank BPH, the Polish subsidiary of Bank Austria Creditanstalt (BA-CA), will expand its branch network from 475 offices to about 555 branches.
This decision was made by the Supervisory Board of Bank BPH on 4 June. “We will open about 80 new branches by the end of 2006. With this expansion we will further enhance our strong position in the Polish market,” says Regina Prehofer, BA-CA Managing Board member with responsibility for business in Central and Eastern Europe.
At the same time, Bank BPH will focus on strong revenue growth while optimising the cost structure. The bank intends to reduce the cost/income ratio to 51 per cent by 2006 (2003: 66 per cent) and to increase the return on equity before taxes to 22 per cent (2003: 12 per cent). These targets are to be achieved through various measures: in addition to the network expansion, efforts will concentrate on enhancing customer service and widening the product range for retail and corporate customers.
Cost reductions will be made especially in organisational arrangements for the retail, credit risk and IT sectors. Optimisation measures are also planned to be taken in the area of human resources. The number of employees, primarily in the back office, will be reduced by about three per cent annually until 2007. In a parallel move, the number of employees serving customers will be increased.
Bank BPH is the third-largest Polish bank, with total assets of EUR 9.5 billion, a market share of about 10 per cent and 2.9 million customers. Bank Austria Creditanstalt holds a 71.03 per cent interest in Bank BPH.
BA-CA is responsible for the markets in Central and Eastern Europe within HVB Group and operates the leading banking network in the region. The bank’s presence comprises 900 offices in 11 countries. 17,000 employees serve more than 4 million customers.