Banks to focus on streamlining, specialisation in 2017
According to the central bank, gross revenue of banks declined in 2016 compared to the previous year. Banks are operating in the black, but this is largely the result of lower write-downs and provisions.
Crediting activity for the non-banking sector meanwhile continues to decrease and the importance of household deposits in the financing structure is growing.
In this respect, all banks highlight the importance of new, high-quality products, and a customer-friendly user experience.
Banks' streamlining measures are expected to lead to reduced need for staff. NLB, for example, expects the number of its employees to decrease by around 20% within the next five years.
Following the absorption of the PBS and KBS banks, Slovenia's second biggest bank NKBM will continue to undergo consolidation. In recent years, the number of employees decreased by around 70-100 a year.
Digitalisation will be another focal area for most banks, as actual bank visits are rare with the younger generation, which prefers online banking.
Nevertheless, Unicredit Banka Slovenija has pointed out that even younger customers prefer to go the bank in person when they need more comprehensive advice; the bank does not plan to close any of its offices.
Addiko Bank opened in November a self-service office that is open all day, six days a week.
Other banks may follow its lead, but for now their specific plans remain under wraps. However, all of them speak of simplifications, faster decision-making and specialisation.
NLB says it wants to become "an even more important regional specialist" cementing its position in the countries of the former Yugoslavia, improving its efficiency and user experience, and investing in digitalisation and innovative solutions.
NKBM points out that banks need more and more specialised staff, particularly in IT, risk assessment and similar areas.
Addiko will focus on efficiency and simplicity, while Sparkasse says it wants to become a local specialist for small businesses and individuals.