Sunday, 31 October 2021

World Savings Day: Growth of Savings in Croatia Continues in 2021

ZAGREB, 31 Oct, 2021 - Increased uncertainty about future economic trends is leading to an increase in savings, according to an analysis by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) on the occasion of World Savings Day, marked on 31 October.

Data from the Croatian National Bank (HNB) show household deposits at the end of September 2021 were HRK 240.3 billion, up HRK 20 billion or 9.1% from September 2020 and up HRK 1.6 billion or 0.7% from August 2021.

Citing HNB data from August, they underscored that a year-on-year growth of deposits was recorded in all counties.

In terms of the distribution of household deposits by banks, the concentration of deposits is the highest in the City of Zagreb, whose citizens had HRK 67.2 billion in savings at the end of August, a share of 29% percent.

Broken down by counties, per capita deposits exceed HRK 50,000 in the Adriatic Croatia counties, with the exception of Lika-Senj County, while the City of Zagreb and Zagreb County are the only continental counties to register such per capita deposits.

Istria County tops the list with per capita deposits of HRK 85,249, followed by the City of Zagreb (HRK 83,049), while Vukovar-Srijem County (HRK 26,068) ranks last. At the level of Croatia, per capita deposits amount to HRK 57,555, up from last year's HRK 53,103, the HGK analysis showed.

The share of time deposits is 33.6%, down 4.7 percentage points compared to the end of last year, while the share of savings deposits has reached 35%, up 2.2 percentage points, and the share of deposit money has reached 31.4%, up 2.5 percentage points.

Huge oscillations in savings

Josip Zaher of the HGK said in a statement carried by the press release that the increase in savings of Croatian citizens was not surprising given that in every crisis, this time caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, people always saved more.

As long as uncertainty regarding future economic trends is heightened, the same will apply to savings, said Vedran Šošić of the HNB, underscoring that oscillations in saving were huge.

Thus, amid the outbreak of the pandemic and the consequent lack of goods, and especially services, as well as caution and fear due to a potential loss of income, savings doubled overnight.

The reopening of the economy and the recovery of confidence enabled a gradual return to pre-pandemic patterns of spending and savings, although savings are generally still slightly higher than usual, said Šošić.

He also said that the majority of money surpluses accumulated after the outbreak, citizens deposited in banks. Also, savings were directed to the repayment of consumer debt, and investment in residential real estate is always popular, so housing loans grew increasingly fast, with increasingly obvious signs of overvaluation.

Member of the Management Board of the pensions funds management company Raiffeisen, Eva Horvat, stressed that nearly 400,000 Croatian citizens were saving in one of the voluntary pension funds, which contained assets of HRK 7.3 billion.

Savings growth constant in Croatia

On the occasion of World Savings Day, Zagrebačka Banka (Zaba) also released an analysis, in which Hrvoje Dolenec said that savings growth was constant in Croatia, and the reasons for that were the growth of GDP, living standards and disposable income.

"In the past two and a half years, the movement of financial assets of the Croatian population indicates an acceleration of that growth. This was especially evident during the pandemic, when the acceleration of savings was partly forced, due to limited movement and travel and less available services, such as restaurants, cafes, recreational activities, and partly voluntary, out of precaution and concern for the future," said Dolenec, noting that deposits and cash together accounted for nearly half of the total financial assets of households.

Igor Pavlović of Zaba underscored that low interest rates were certainly among the most important reasons for the reduction in the habit of opting for time deposits.

(€1 = HRK 7.509157)

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Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Zagrebačka Banka Makes HRK 1.07bn in Profit After Taxes

ZAGREB, 27 Oct 2021 - In the first nine months of 2021, Zagrebačka Banka generated HRK 1.07 billion in profit after taxes, up 22% on the year, according to an unconsolidated financial report released on Wednesday.

Operating revenue was HRK 2.8 billion, down 1.8% on the year, while operating costs were HRK 1.2 billion, up by HRK 9 million on the year. The cost-revenue ratio was 42.3%.

The bank's assets totaled HRK 131.3 billion, up 5.5% on the year, while net lending totalled HRK 68.6 billion, up by HRK 1.1 billion as a result of higher exposure to the government.

Client deposits were the primary source of financing and totalled HRK 106.9 billion, including a HRK 8.7 billion increase resulting mainly from household and corporate deposits.

Deposits by credit institutions were HRK 2.6 billion, down by HRK 3.1 billion.

According to a consolidated financial report for the first nine months of 2021, the Zagrebačka Banka Group generated HRK 1.28 billion in profit after taxes, up 16.2% on the year, the main contributors being Zagrebačka Banka, UniCredit Bank Mostar and UniCredit Leasing Croatia.

The group's operating revenue was HRK 3.6 billion, down 3.9% on the year, while operating costs were HRK 1.7 billion, down by HRK 4 million.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

 

Friday, 1 January 2021

Zagrebacka Banka Donates Million Kuna to Croatian Earthquake Victims

January the 1st, 2021 - Zagrebacka banka has donated the generous sum of one million kuna to the victims of the tragic Petrinja earthquake which struck Petrinja, Glina, Sisak and other areas across central Croatia recently.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, in order to help residents of the earthquake-affected areas whose homes were destroyed, Zagrebacka banka will donate one million kuna to the Croatian Red Cross, which will direct the donation to those who are the most in need of help.

Along with financial assistance to residents, Zagrebacka banka will provide clients who had a residence or headquarters in Sisak-Moslavina County on the day of the earthquake, in the period from the 31st of December, 2020 to the 28th of February, 2021, with the temporary suspension of any collection measures, which includes the temporary suspension of the execution of standing orders and direct debits, without the collection of additional costs and the calculation of default interest in that period.

Zagrebacka banka will provide more permanent measures to clients affected by the Petrinja earthquake in the coming period in the form of a moratorium on loan repayment. The bank has stated that it plans to inform clients in more detail about all of the assistance measures on offer and the conditions of their application on the official Zagrebacka banka website.

"Aware of the role we have in supporting the community in which we operate, we're doing everything we can to help those who need help the most at the moment. In these difficult moments, we sympathise with all the victims of the devastating earthquake that hit central Croatia, and especially those who lost their loved ones,'' said Romeo Collina, President of the Management Board of Zagrebacka banka.

Many employees of Zagrebacka banka have personally participated in numerous organised humanitarian actions and are helping the residents of the affected areas. Zagrebacka banka would like to thank all employees of the emergency and rescue services, as well as all people from all over Croatia, who once again showed how big their hearts truly are and united in helping those who have suffered losses.

For more on the Petrinja earthquake, follow our dedicated section.

Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Prviput.hr: Zagrebacka Banka Launches Interactive Platfrom for Croatia's Hidden Gems

November 11, 2020 - Zagrebacka banka has launched the interactive platform prviput.hr to help you discover Croatia's hidden gems. 

HRTurizam reports that from now on, everyone who wants to explore new locations in Croatia can find the country's undiscovered gems for their next trip or excursion at prviput.hr.

The interactive platform prviput.hr is a unique place with information on unexplored tourist experiences in Croatia, launched as part of a project by which Zagrebacka banka provides support to small entrepreneurs in tourism.

The platform brings together information about interesting locations, services, and tourism products. At the same time, it allows small entrepreneurs and family farms to introduce themselves to local guests.

Visitors will be able to discover the stories of the winners of the project, which was launched by Zagrebacka banka in September, and more than 150 locations registered for the tender will be marked and described on the map.

An additional 60 hidden natural beauties will be plotted on the map, discovered by the Croatian National Tourist Board. Everyone who visits prviput.hr will be able to find inspiration for their next trip in just a few clicks, as well as directly contact the owners of the marked locations with inquiries about accommodation, tourism, gastronomy, and other offers.

As part of the project, an expert jury brought together by Zagrebacka banka selected 15 unique locations and experiences that enrich Croatia's tourist offer.

Two of them, Heritage Hotel Frankopan from Ogulin and Ranch Ramarin not far from Slavonski Brod, have won a major marketing campaign that includes a TV advertisement. In contrast, others will be promoted on digital channels.

The TV advertisement for the Heritage Hotel Frankopan in Ogulin has already been presented to the audience and has won the sympathy of viewers with its charm and beautiful family story. The hotel is recognized as a cultural asset and is located next to the Frankopan Tower and Ivana's fairytale house.

With accommodation in 21 rooms bearing the names of the characters of the famous writer Ivana Brlić Mažuranić, guests will feel the spirit of the past, enjoy the many facilities and try traditional local dishes, including 30 types of pancakes.

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Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Financial Inspectorate Fines Popular Zagrebacka Banka, Fine Discounted?

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 3rd of November, 2020, the Financial Inspectorate of the Republic of Croatia has issued a decision by which the otherwise popular Zagrebacka banka was found guilty and fined an eye-watering amount.

The guilty verdict comes as a result of the supervision of the Croatian National Bank which established that in the period from the 1st of January 2017 to the 8th of November 2019, Zagrebacka banka failed to implement all of the necessary measures, actions and procedures as prescribed by the Law on Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (ZSPNFT). As a result of the finding, a single fine in the amount of 33,000,000 kuna was published on the CNB's website. However, as Poslovni Dnevnik/Ana Blaskovic reports, the bank has earned a discount on that huge fine, and will now pay ''only'' 22 million kuna.

According to the Misdemeanor Law, if the bank pays the fine within a month, which it will do, Zagrebacka banka will ultimately only pay the aforementioned ''discounted'' amount of 22 million kuna.

The decision of the Financial Inspectorate was made and became final on October the 30th, 2020. This fine is the highest misdemeanor ever imposed on a credit institution in all of Croatia, not only in the field of the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing, but also in all areas for which the misdemeanor liability of credit institutions can be prescribed. In this case, the Croatian National Bank, as the supervisory body and authorised prosecutor, complied with the obligations under the Misdemeanor Law, informed Zagrebacka banka of its right to come to an agreement, which Zagrebacka banka used, admitted guilt and agreed to accept the aforementioned large fine.

Zagrebacka banka: We have implemented all of the due regulatory measures

''Zagrebacka banka has resolutely implemented all of the due regulatory measures in close cooperation with the competent authorities and remains strongly committed to the continuous strengthening of the system and its processes. The entire set of measures (75) identified by the bank, and ordered by the CNB in ​​its decision, was fully implemented three months before the deadline set by the CNB,'' Zagrebacka banka stated.

The Croatian National Bank has identified a total of 11 violations related to violations of the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, in the following areas:

Risk assessment of an individual business relationship
Identifying and tracking suspicious, complex and unusual transactions
Reporting suspicious transactions to the Office for the Prevention of Money Laundering
Implementation of measures of enhanced in-depth analysis of all parties
A system of internal controls to reduce and effectively manage the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing.
The aforementioned violations established by the CNB upon the supervision of Zagrebacka banka were committed in the period from the 1st of January 2017 to the 8th of November 2019, and relate to the following omissions:

It did not implement measures of enhanced in-depth party analysis for 72 clients
It did not analyse the background and purpose of 1,126 transactions that were identified as complex and unusual and didn't have an obvious economic or visible legal purpose
For 2,028 transactions made by parties, the lists of indicators weren't used as guidelines in determining the grounds for suspicion of money laundering or terrorist financing
It failed to report 1,122 suspicious transactions to the Office for the Prevention of Money Laundering
It hasn't established an effective system of internal controls to reduce and effectively manage the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing.
The number, type and duration of identified illegalities indicated structural shortcomings in the implementation of prescribed measures, actions and procedures to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. Such conduct is particularly unacceptable given the position held by Zagrebacka banka in the financial system of the Republic of Croatia as the largest credit institution.

The amount of the fine imposed is proportional to the determined number and severity of the committed offenses.

After the completion of the CNB's supervision, Zagrebacka banka reorganised its operations and increased its capacity to detect and prevent money laundering and terrorist financing, and proceeded to implement supervisory measures based on the decision of the Croatian National Bank. Zagrebacka banka demonstrated an appropriate degree of readiness to address all of the identified weaknesses within the anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing system. Among other things, Zagrebacka banka has committed itself to implementing 75 measures to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of its anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing system. In the meantime, Zagrebacka banka informed the CNB that it had implemented all of the measures it undertook.

This case emphasises that the implementation of measures to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing by banks remains an important priority of the CNB and that it is more than determined to take all of the measures to ensure that banks comply with regulations in the field of the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing. The Croatian National Bank expects banks to have effective and efficient anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing systems that should be proportionate to their size, type, scope and the complexity of their operations.

In accordance with the law, the CNB informed the Office for the Prevention of Money Laundering in detail about their decision, as well as all competent state institutions.

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Monday, 13 January 2020

Zagrebacka Banka (Zaba) Pronounced Best Croatian Bank

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 13th of January, 2020, UniCredit, of which Zagrebacka banka (Zaba) is a member, retains a leading position globally as the best bank in the field of trade and export financing according to the Euromoney Trade Finance 2020 survey.

According to Euromoney's Trade and Export Financing Survey for 2020, UniCredit is the best global provider of trade and export finance services and has been named the leading bank in the Consulting, Financing, Overall Performance and Products categories, as well as the best provider in Western Europe and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).

It also ranked third globally in the "Market Leader" category, a category that combines market penetration, percentage of business and turnover data to create an overall ranking of the best banks for financing trade and exports.

UniCredit has won many first places in the rankings of individual countries, among them lies Croatia's Zagrebacka banka, which was named the best in the Market Leader and Best Service Provider categories.

The scope and depth of UniCredit's geographical coverage is further reflected in the fact that the bank is the market leader in Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, and Turkey.

"Euromoney's recognition is yet another confirmation of Zagrebacka banka's leading market position in the area of ​​trade and export financing. It is the result of many years of tradition and experience, but also of the constant monitoring of market requirements and the creation of new business solutions for clients in this field. We'll continue to improve our services and in the coming period, we plan to further digitise traditional instruments of trade and export financing and new solutions in the area of ​​receivables and liquidity management,'' said Nikolaus Maximilian Linarić, Member of the Management Board of Zagrebacka banka.

The survey, which has been running for the ninth year in a row, compares the feedback gathered from over 7,000 corporate clients, convincingly showing UniCredit's product development and marketing expertise, superior customer service and a deep understanding of its key European markets.

"We're very proud of these results," said Richard Burton, UniCredit's Head of Corporate and Investment Banking.

"We strive to continually deliver our highest quality products and services to our customers, focusing on developing innovative solutions tailored to meet our customers' needs. This Euromoney survey recognises our continued efforts in these areas as we strive to support the real economy and build strong customer relationships, which is at the heart of everything we do, and we'd like to take this opportunity to thank our customers for their continued partnership and support,''

UniCredit continues to invest in trade and export finance innovations - most notably through its award-winning Trade Finance Gate customer portal - and remains committed to meeting its customers' needs by providing tailor-made trade and export financing solutions and working capital solutions.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for more on Zagrebacka banka and other banks which operate in Croatia.

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Zagrebačka Banka Enters Online Payment Scene with IziPay

We currently live in a technological age in an extremely quickly developing world. Banks are no longer the sole ''overlords'' when it comes to making payments, transfers, and receiving cash quickly. Can IziPay match up?

As many independent platforms realised they found a niche in the financial market by providing a service that operates without the often extortionate charges and boring red tape banks put in the way of money transfers, more and more such platforms have popped up over the years, following the lead of companies like PayPal.

Banks are gradually realising that they too could benefit from such systems, and as such, the largest bank in Croatia, Zagrebačka banka (Zaba) has released IziPay on m-Zaba, which now impressively boasts more than 350,000 users.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Bernard Ivezic writes on the 30th of September, 2019, one weekend after two of the most successful fintech players in the Republic of Croatia so far, Erste's Keks Pay and Revolut, boast of their hardly surprising market success, the largest bank in Croatia - Zagrebačka banka, has decided to step onto the online payment scene and allow all users of its mobile application (app) m-Zaba to send money from account to account for free without having to go through the sometimes time consuming IBAN payment processes.

It was this functionality that enabled Erste's popular Keks Pay to garner 56,000 users and Revolut to reach 50,000 users.

Zaba has so far offered such an option, called IziPay, exclusively through the new Telekom Banking application, which is jointly offered on the market with Croatian Telecom (Hrvatski Telekom).

However, likely seeing its potentially fierce competition, it has now offered such a useful service through its existing mobile application, called m-Zaba, which also the most popular banking mobile application in all of Croatia, with more than 350,000 users at this moment in time.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and lifestyle page for much more.

Thursday, 6 June 2019

HT and Zagrebačka Banka Testing First Local Mobile Bank in Croatia

A brand new and far more efficient way of banking is almost ready for its release onto the market in Croatia, thanks to a partnership between Croatian Telecom (HT) and Zagrebačka banka.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Bernard Ivezic writes on the 6th of June, 2019, with less than twenty days to go until the summer calendar officially begins, the first local mobile bank in the Republic of Croatia, developed by Croatian telecom (Hrvatski telekom) and Zagrebačka banka, is now ready for testing.

This service, called Telekom Banking, comes directly from the largest telecom and largest bank in Croatia, and the announcement is that it will be set up and ready online during the summer. Goran Lončarić, head of Telekom Banking at Croatian Telecom, confirmed that the mobile bank is now ready to be tested out.

"We're now launching the Telekom Banking pilot for friends and family, who will be the first to use the most advanced digital bank in Croatia," said Lončarić.

He also published a photo of his card featuring HT's (T), Zagrebačka banka's and Maestro's logos. Apparently, Deutsche Telekom has already reserved the domain telekombankarstvo.hr where the service will be officially launched.

HT and Zagrebačka banka have both confirmed that the service is ready for public launch and that they're still working on testing mobile applications.

"Users are currently participating in the pilot project and we can say that we're very happy with their first reactions, and those services will become available during the summer," they stated from HT, adding that the application (app) will bring with it a whole host of other innovations.

HT's and Zagrebačka banka's partnership in Croatia is very similar to the one that the Romanian operator and a member of the DT group, Telekom Romania, realised on this market alongside one of the ten largest banks in Poland, Alior Bank. Their service can be found on the telekombanking.ro website and includes access to mobile and web banking by Poland's Alior Bank.

It's a very complex yet simple product, which includes current, savings and foreign currency accounts, as well as cards. For users who receive 1,000 kuna per month, it's all free.

It includes free and unlimited cash withdrawals from any ATM in the entire world, it includes both mobile and web banking, as well as the ability to view your last three transactions without having to go through the log in process.

The system also offers its users absolutely full control over PIN and locking their cards, and it supports both NFC and QR payments, as well as direct payments via email and mobile phone numbers. Lending possibilities are also on offer.

It is not yet known whether or not the exact same service which is offered by Telekom Romania and Alior bank will be offered here in Croatia by HT and Zagrebačka banka.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and lifestyle pages for much more.

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Zagrebačka Banka Proclaimed Best Bank in Republic of Croatia

The highly respected Global Finance magazine has proclaimed Croatia's Zagrebačka banka, a member of the UniCredit Group, the best Croatian bank in 2019.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 22nd of May, 2019, the editors of Global Finance have given this prestigious award to Zagrebačka banka after extensive consultations with financial managers, bankers, bank advisors and analysts from around the world, as such, the best respective bank of each country in Central and Eastern Europe (SIE) has been selected.

"We're proud to have received this prestigious award from a reputable institution such as Global Finance. In the forthcoming period, we will continue to focus on the needs of our clients by introducing new technologies, relying on a balanced business model and belonging to the UniCredit Group. We remain committed to the creation of a stimulating environment for our clients, employees and the economic and social progress of the company we're engaged in,'' said Miljenko Živaljić, CEO of Zagrebacka banka.

UniCredit received recognition in the following categories during this year's Best Bank Awards magazine by Global Finance:

The best Bank in Central and Eastern Europe

The best bank in Bulgaria

The best bank in the Republic of Croatia

Gianfranco Bisagni and Niccolò Ubertalli, the executive directors of UniCredit for the CEE region, said: "It's a great pleasure to acknowledge this remarkable impact throughout the CEE region, especially Bulgaria and Croatia. We've won these awards thanks to the efforts and commitment of our employees towards our clients, providing them with our simple, successful, pan-European commercial banks. We're glad that we have the opportunity to share UniCredit's success in the region of Central and Eastern Europe.''

These awards are awarded on the basis of many factors, including: Asset growth, profitability, geographic reach, strategic relationships, business development, product innovations, and opinion of capital analysts, credit rating analysts, bank consultants and other banking experts, and it's clear that in all of these categories, Croatia's Zagrebacka banka proudly stands out.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and lifestyle pages for much more.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Zagrebačka Banka Reports 50% Decrease in Profit

ZAGREB, February 18, 2018 - Zagrebačka Banka (ZABA), the largest bank in Croatia, generated an operating income of 4.2 billion kuna in 2017, which is 9.1% less than in 2016, while net profit fell by more than 50%, its financial statement shows.

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