Invited to the weekly Tuesday forums at UET was Mr. Bledar Shella, General Executive Director of OTP Bank Albania and President of the Albanian Association of Banks, AAB, who in a conversation with students and professors of the Faculty of Economics, Business and Development at UET, unveiled the step-by-step development and historic growth of OTP Bank in Europe and Albania.
OTP Bank Albania was announced for the second year in a row "The Best Bank" in Albania by Euromoney, during the awarding of the Excellence Awards 2021. Among the main achievements on which the assessment given by Euromoney was based, was the extraordinary work during the crisis of COVID-19 and exit hold with fantastic achievements, both for sustainable growth and commitment to the bank's digital developments. The winners are announced after a thorough evaluation by experts, based on the annual monitoring of the global banking and investment banking industries.
According to the President of the Albanian Banking Association, 2021 was a positive year for the economy sector as in the banking system sector: “credit has an increase in 2021 of 9.21%, which is the largest increase in the last 5 years. Significant increase in deposits for 2021 reaches 11.4%. “kredia ka një rritje në vitin 2021 prej 9.21%, e cila është dhe rritja më e madhe në 5 vitet e fundit. Rritja domethënëse në depozita për vitin 2021 arrin në 11.4%”.
Prof. Assoc. Dr. Elvin Meka, Dean of the Faculty of Economics, Business and Development in parallel with the topic of the forum defined the continuous development / expansion of this bank as “development that has come in the organic aspect, ie in the internal growth of the bank, as well as from mechanical expansion through the successful realization of the latest acquisition of Alpha Bank - Albania ”. “zhvillim që ka ardhur si në aspektin organik, pra në rritjen e brendshme të bankës, ashtu dhe nga zgjerimi mekanik përmes realizimit me sukses të blerjes më të fundit të Alpha Bank – Albania”.
- Shella started the general presentation of OTP Group, emphasizing that OTP Bank is one of the largest banks in Europe with a total assets of 73 billion euros, with 16 million customers, present in 12 countries and with 1,477 branches. The OTP Group is a leader in household loans and deposits in Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Serbia and Montenegro, as a result of the group's growth over the years.
An indicator of this continuous growth of OTP Group, a novelty of last year, was the acquisition of two very important banks, such as: Nova KBM and Alpha Bank. In May 2021 the group signed an agreement to purchase a 100% stake in Nova KBM d.d. This bank is the second largest bank in Slovenia with 20.5% of the banking market and is one of the most active banks in the Individuals and Corporations segment in the banking market in Slovenia. Meanwhile, on December 6, 2021, when OTP Group announced that it had signed an agreement with Alpha International Holdings Single Member S.A. for the purchase of 100% of the shares of Alpha Bank SH.A., the Albanian subsidiary of Greek Alpha Bank S.A. This was a very important step for the banking group and field, as Alpha Bank is a universal bank that has been active in the Individual and Corporate segments simultaneously.
Bledar Shella stressed the importance of the bank-client relationship as partners, as a strategy for a long-term relationship and to create a customer history. This partnership will help increase customer confidence in the coming years, when the bank expands its activity and where the customer is viewed positively, in case of the borrowing process. On the other hand, it will not stop the efforts for the digitalization of all banking processes and procedures within OTP Bank Albania, in order to ensure maximum customer satisfaction, and not simply to attract new customers.
The meeting concluded by telling about the future goals of the group and the possibility of future expansion in other sectors. Mr. Shella also stressed the permanent intention of OTP Group to be the first or second bank in any country where it is present.