Sunday, 31 July 2022

Hrvatska Postanska Banka's Organic Growth Sees it Pushed Forward on Market

July the 3st, 2022 - Hrvatska Postanska Banka has been pushed forward significantly on the market owing to its organic growth and the excellent business being done, not to mention a new acquisition.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, during the first six months of 2022, Hrvatska Postanska Banka achieved strong growth in terms of the wider HPB Group's assets and the acquisition of Nova Hrvatska Banka (New Croatian Bank), which is now successfully operating. All of the above has significantly strengthened its overall market position.

After a record 2021, a ten digit net profit of 1.066 billion kuna was realised at a consolidated level as a result of income due to acquisition activities and profit creation at the bank's level. A significant increase in property of 7.7 billion kuna indicates a strong step towards the entry of HPB into the top five banks per total assets on the entire Croatian market.

The main factors of the record positive results of the wider Hrvatska Postanska Banka Group in the first six months of 2022, in addition to the effects of acquisition activities, were the profits made from business even in these dire circumstances of growing inflation and the cost of adjusting business for the introduction of the euro in 2023. Hrvatska Postanska Banka successfully annulled the unfavourable effects of the drop in the price of bonds caused by the announcement of a change in monetary policy to restrain inflation and continued to implement the multitude of strategic projects of the HPB Group.

Back on March the 1st, 2022, the Hrvatska Postanska Banka took over Sberbank d.d., now called Nova Hrvatska Banka, which enabled it to stabilise its business, in that it also secured the preservation of its property and the property of its clients.

A significant increase in the Hrvatska Postanska Banka deposit and the stabilisation of Nova Hrvatska Banka's business, after them having taken it over, contributed to a much more favourable liquidity position and the strengthening of the potential to continue the realisation of a planned market share. The complementary and quality credit portfolio of Nova Hrvatska Banka has also further strengthened the stable and growing credit portfolio of HPB in almost all possible segments.

In addition to the record low level of the stake in unchanging loans, the activities of the diversification and increase in the quality of the bank's card products are reflected in the growth of total revenue from 7.7% fees that have mitigated the drop of net interest income of 6.0% (unconsoilidated) provided by a competent environment.

Thanks to cooperation with a strategic partner, Croatian Post (Hrvatska posta), Hrvatska Postanska Banka has continued to increase the availability of its financial services to different segments of clients even in the smallest and most remote rural locations that have a post office available.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Saturday, 28 May 2022

Hrvatska Postanska Banka Celebrates 30 Years With New Acquisition

May the 28th, 2022 - Hrvatska postanska banka has celebrated thirty long and successful years of operations with the acquisition of a brand new bank, Nova hrvatska banka (New Croatian bank).

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the celebration of 30 years of Hrvatska postanka banka's operations comes after a record 2021 in which the bank achieved the best net profit in history in the amount of 202 million kuna, asset growth increased to a massive 27.9 billion kuna, and it enjoyed a capital adequacy ratio of 25.7 percent.

“At Hrvatska postanska banka, we have many reasons to celebrate, in addition to achieving the best business results in history, we've got a new member within our group, Nova hrvatska banka, which is now stabilised and operating successfully. After a successful 30 years of doing business, we're continuing to strongly build the development path of the bank, providing significant support to the economic recovery of the country,'' said Marko Badurina, President of the Management Board of HPB.

The recently held celebration was also attended by Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, who said that he congratulated Hrvatska postanska banka on everything they had done for the Croatian banking system, especially in terms of the bank's distribution, which is very accessible to Croats today. The Prime Minister emphasised the exceptional readiness of Hrvatska postanska banka to integrate Nova hrvatska banka, along with the approach of the Croatian Government and the Croatian National Bank.

Hrvatska postanska banka was first founded in October 1991 with its headquarters in the City of Zagreb, and throughout a history full of milestones, it has continuously strengthened its market presence. It established its first branch in Split in 2003, when the network began to expand rapidly throughout the country, and its presence in Dalmatia was further strengthened by the successful merger of Jadranska banka back in 2019.

With a strong step towards digitalisation which began back in 2014, Hrvatska postanska banka will soon become a leader in digital trends. It was the first in all of Croatia to introduce access to the e-Citizens (e-Gradjani) platform, biometrics for logging in to mobile banking, enabling online account opening, cash withdrawal at ATMs with mobile phones. Thanks to its own network and a partner network of about 1,000 Croatian Post offices, today it is the most accessible bank in all of Croatia.

Hrvatska postanska banka marked its three decades of work in the Republic of Croatia with specially designed activities and socially responsible projects, and it also realised the video series which deals with financial education entitled ''HPB for financial literacy'', which will continue throughout 2022. Continuing the focus on sustainable business and the well-being of the community and its customers remains one of HPB's priority goals for this year.

For more, check out our business section.

Friday, 25 March 2022

Nobody Exchanging Ukrainian Hryvnia in Croatia, Duty to Fall on HPB?

March the 25th, 2022 - The Ukrainian hryvnia is becoming an extremely tricky currency to deal with in any which way given the current dire events taking place in that country following last month's unjustified Russian invasion. With thousands of Ukrainian refugees now in Croatia, banks and exchange offices have been left scratching their heads.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Ana Blaskovic writes, around 9,000 Ukrainian refugees who have arrived in Croatia and took some cash with them in a panicked flight before the war have nowhere to officially change it.

In Croatia, the Ukrainian hryvnia isn't being exchanged by banks or by exchange offices, the Croatian National Bank (CNB) confirmed recently. A decision is being made which would see Hrvatska postanska banka take over, but no agreement has been reached yet.

"Regarding the elimination of the problem regarding the purchase of the Ukrainian hryvnia currency, we would like to inform you that the possibility of taking over the purchase of the Ukrainian hryvnia by Hrvatska postanska banka is being considered," said the CNB, which expects a solution soon.

Nobody wants to take the risk

The problem with the purchase of the Ukrainian hryvnia is essentially its non-convertibility, the fear of money changers and bankers that they will have no one to sell it to, at least not without major losses involved. An exchange office which didn't want to be named confirmed that this situation is very real. It does have the Ukrainian hryvnia on its exchange rate list, but it no longer de facto buys it back because the set exchange rate was set deliberately very unfavourably.

"Basically, the Ukrainian hryvnia can be changed, but the exchange rate is set very low, so it doesn't pay off for anyone to do so. The Ukrainian hryvnia is only formally listed because we can't remove it from the list. The bank we work with has completely removed it from its exchange rate list. Nobody wants to risk a pile of banknotes because it isn't known what will happen to that currency,'' said an employee of the exchange office in question.

The issue of the value of the Ukrainian hryvnia is a thorn in the side of not only Croatian banks and exchange offices, but also other European countries to which refugees from Ukraine are arriving. The European Commission (EC) and the European Central Bank (ECB) are both seeking a quick solution to establish a mechanism to enable the conversion of a limited amount at a given exchange rate to limit possible abuse or exploitation of the situation.

On paper it all seems simple, but in practice, the scheme carries great complications as it requires members to guarantee that financial institutions will cover any losses.

According to the FT, members are willing to provide the necessary political guarantees, estimated at one billion to three billion euros, provided the amount is limited to 300 euros per refugee. More than 3.5 million Ukrainians have fled their homeland following Russia's invasion. One of the burning problems they face is the lack of cash to pay for food, clothing, accommodation and other necessities. The Ukrainian hryvnia they took with them can't be exchanged for the euro or other currencies owing to the aforementioned reasons.

In Poland, which has received 2.1 million Ukrainian refugees to date, one Polish zloty could be bought for seven Ukrainian hryvnias before the war, and today 20 hryvnias are demanded for the same amount. Back on February the 23rd, the Ukrainian hryvnia was worth 0.03 euros.

The actual value is unknown...

The reluctance of banks and exchange offices to buy the Ukrainian hryvnia arose because its true value is unknown after Ukraine halted the majority of transactions, froze the official exchange rate at pre-war levels and imposed a moratorium on foreign exchange transactions (except for war-related payments).

The ECB's proposal to the EC provides a European guarantee for the initiation of exchange rate losses to the central bank in which large quantities of Ukrainian currency would end up, at least until the end of the war. In Frankfurt, they concluded that without a guarantee (necessary from the members because it isn't currently provided for in the existing EU budget), they cannot change the Ukrainian hryvnia for euros, since that would be monetary financing which is prohibited by the EU Treaty.

For more, check our lifestyle section.

Thursday, 3 March 2022

Croatian HPB Takes Over Sberbank, Clients Can Breathe Easy

March the 3rd, 2022 - Following alarming reports of Zagreb and Split residents lining up outside Sberbank branches to withdraw any cash they had in accounts there after harsh sanctions were imposed by most of the world on Russia, the Croatian HPB has taken over and clients can now breathe easy.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Croatian Sberbank clients' money is safe yet again, and business conditions remain unchanged. On Wednesday, March the 2nd, at 12:00, the bank opened its branches for all of its clients and continued its regular operations as part of the HPB Group,'' the statement reads.

"We reacted in an extremely short time and enabled our fellow citizens to freely deposit their funds. At the same time, the acquisition of Sberbank strengthens the Croatian HPB's future position on the market, which is great news for our employees and shareholders alike. As of today, our new clients can continue to use all of their financial services normally, without any restrictions, and as such I'd like to congratulate everyone who did their best to resolve this situation as soon as possible,'' said HPB CEO Marko Badurina.

The Croatian National Bank (CNB/HNB) announced earlier not so long before that that the Single Resolution Committee had made a decision on Tuesday, in co-operation with the Croatian National Bank as the national resolution authority, initiating the resolution process over Sberbank d.d. Zagreb, and the new owner is now the Croatian HPB (Hrvatska postanska banka).

HPB is one of the leading banks in the Republic of Croatia, and back in 2021 it achieved the best result in 30 years of the bank's history and a record net profit of 202 million kuna.

HPB pointed out that this bank is one of the leaders in innovation and digitalisation of the sector, and for many years it has stood out as the most active in the programme of subsidised housing APN loans.

For more, make sure to check out our lifestyle section.

Thursday, 6 January 2022

HPB and Croatian Post Form Strategic Partnership to Improve Services

January the 6th, 2022 - Hrvatska postanska banka (HPB) and Hrvatska posta (Croatian post) have come together and signed a framework agreement on strategic partnership, all done with the aim of improving things for their end customers and clients.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, HPB and Croatian Post decided to put their heads together for the benefit of their many customers and clients and as such signed a new Framework Agreement on Strategic Partnership and Outsourcing back on the 31st of December 2021 with the primary aim of improving the level of the customer service they both offer.

The strategic partnership between HPB and Croatian Post and the implementation of the useful ''Bank at the Post Office'' project has as such created the largest business network offering banking services to individuals in the smallest and most remote places across the country, and back in 2020, this project was expanded to provide banking services in this manner to business users as well.

Thanks to this decision on forming a strategic partnership, individuals have now have the possibility to make Croatian kuna payment transactions and contract and use the aforementioned bank's products and services across 1,016 post offices, and services are available to business entities at 987 different locations, scattered across the country.

In this regard, the ''Bank at the Post Office'' project has made banking business accessible to all those across the Republic of Croatia who didn't, at least until now, have the necessary services close to their places of residence and within their local communities, which is also the greatest value of this unique and praiseworthy project.

In this context, the preparation of the Framework Agreement was extremely demanding, given that it is a complex legal and business process that is extensively regulated and subject to strict regulatory provisions, despite all of the red tape, HPB and Croatian Post succeeded.

For more, check out our dedicated business section.