Petia Dimitrova: We encourage entrepreneurs, because today business is speed


28 July 2017


The latest BNB data show an increase in corporate lending by over 2 percent. What is the situation in Postbank and are there quality projects applying for financing?

At Postbank, we are also seeing growth in both corporate lending and loans to households. This is a very natural process given the improved economic environment that we have seen since the beginning of the year – business activity is growing, employment and solvency are increasing. Gross loans exceeded BGN 55 billion, with corporate, consumer and mortgage lending growing at the same rate of about 3 percent. Currently, there is great interest from customers to buy homes. As of May, we have a 60 percent increase in new loans compared to a year earlier. There are more quality projects and this makes us happy, because for us clients are not just clients, but partners with whom we can develop together. We encourage entrepreneurs from all regions to develop their competitive advantages, because today business is speed – if you don’t reach the goal first, someone else will beat you to it.

What does the economy look like through the prism of the bank’s corporate portfolio? Which sectors are active right now?

As a universal bank, we strive to support projects by entrepreneurs from all over the country and from all industries. We most often finance companies in the segments of retail and wholesale, manufacturing, hospitality, transport, restaurants, as well as export-oriented sectors. We offer a full range of products for business clients – from the standard ones, such as lending and transaction services, to more specialized ones, such as factoring, custodial services and investment banking. The banking and economic situation right now offers very good opportunities for financing quality projects – low interest rates, flexible terms and approval deadlines. In this regard, the economy looks good, as does our portfolio of successful clients.

Have the requirements for corporate clients changed after the stress tests of the system (in terms of collateral, limits, terms)?

The stress tests showed something that everyone in the sector knew well – that the system is stable and resilient. I wouldn’t say that they influenced the requirements for corporate clients, but the preparation for them made banks more disciplined and more careful about bad loans. Right now we have extremely high liquidity and capital adequacy ratios, which even higher than the European average.

What are the latest innovative products available to businesses as a result of the competition on the market? What are the trends in this regard?

There has always been competition in a market like banking, but what has changed is customers’ expectations – now they appreciate instant communication. There is a growing need for modern products and value-added services, which save valuable time for customers. We are now talking about omnichannel banking – there is personal connection with customers in the offices, and online connection through all social channels, and the most important thing is the user experience.

Were you able to fully integrate the business of the Alpha Bank branch in Bulgaria into the system of Postbank and are you already seeing the benefits of this acquisition?

I have the pleasure to work with a team of real professionals; together, an in record time, we successfully integrated the business of Alpha Bank’s Bulgarian branch. With this landmark deal last year, we set a trend in the market. The benefits are now entirely for the customers who immediately felt the advantages of a larger bank with more locations, modern products and quality service. We have become a stronger universal bank, ready to finance our clients’ quality projects and ambitious business plans.


Petia Dimitrova is Chief Executive Officer and Chairperson of the Management Board of Postbank. She is a member of the Management Boards of the Association of Banks in Bulgaria, the Confederation of Employers and Industrialists in Bulgaria, Borica Bankservice, Atanas Bourov Foundation, the International Banking Institute, the University Council of the American University in Bulgaria, of the Young Global Leaders Forum with the World Economic Forum. She has won over 20 prestigious Bulgarian and international awards, including Mrs. Economy, Banker of the Year award, etc.