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Banking in CEE – supporting sustainable growth and innovation


Corporate lending is going to remain a central area of banks´ business in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE1) and it is expected to recover moderately going forward. This is one of the key findings of the recent "Banking in CEE – Supporting Sustainable Growth and Innovation" study compiled by CEE Strategic Analysis at UniCredit. Although corporate lending has been weak in most CESEE2 countries in the past years, which appears to be related to lower investments and, in part, to higher corporate savings, corporate loans growth has accelerated in some countries in 2015. At the same time the structure of corporates’ sources of financing in CEE indicates that there is scope for a potentially greater role for debt securities. Exports and EU funds should provide additional business opportunities for banks in the region.

"The economic environment, in which banks are operating in Central and Eastern Europe, is expected to remain overall positive. Most countries in the region will show solid economic growth in both, 2016 and 2017", said Carlo Vivaldi, Head of CEE Division at UniCredit. According to UniCredit Research real GDP growth of CESEE should reach 3.2 per cent this year and 3.3 per cent next year following 3.5 percent in 2015, the respective rates of CEE will be 1.3 per cent and 2.6 per cent following 0.4 per cent last year.  Moreover economic growth is expected to spread to all CEE countries in 2016.

While lending is going to remain the main source of corporate financing in CEE, there is scope for a potentially greater role of debt securities. "Over the past years, we have seen that the share of financing through debt securities has increased somewhat in countries such as Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia. Nevertheless its share is still low in most countries", noted Carlo Vivaldi.

[1] CEE includes Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey and Ukraine.

[2] Central Europe and South Eastern Europe (CESEE) is CEE excluding Russia, Turkey and Ukraine.



Ukrsotsbank is one of the largest universal banks of Ukraine, operating in the local market since 1990. The bank offers full range of services to individuals and corporate clients.

The renovated Ukrsotsbank emerged on 31 October 2016 as a result of strategic deal whereby 99.9% of Ukrsotsbank shares have been transferred from UniCredit Group to ABH Holdings S.A. (АВНН) in exchange for a minority 9.9% stake in ABHH. Thus, the bank has combined 26-year-old traditions of Ukrsotsbank’s client-centric attitude, European quality of service inherent to UniCredit, as well as international banking expertise of ABHH in a number of European countries including CIS. Thanks to the successful synthesis and synergy of the two assets of ABHH in Ukraine, Ukrsotsbank and Alfa-Bank, the banking market of Ukraine will see the rise of a new stronger financial institution. This, in turn, will spur up technological advance, increase efficiency, improve quality of service for the clients, reduce cost of banking services whereas their range will inevitably expand.

The extensive retail network of Ukrsotsbank consists of 237 branches, its headcount reaching nearly 5 thousand employees.

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