The Slovenia Times

NLB Bank With Positive Result in 2014?

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"So we will be left with EUR 10-20m and if there are no negative events, we expect to break even," Medja told the press.

The bank will close 22 offices across the country in April as part of a restructuring process. Currently, the bank has 143 offices in Slovenia.

"More clients have started to use online banking...and it can be expected that even more offices will be closed," said management board member Bla┼ż Brodnjak.

By the end of the year, the bank will moreover cut the number of jobs by 20% compared to mid-2013, when the restructuring process was launched. By the end of the year, NLB will have 2,800 employees. It will also remove 100 cash machines.

"This year will be hard but we believe we will be successful in pursuing our goals," Medja also told the press. The group plans to see growth in strategic fields and to sell its non-strategic segments.

Touching on the transferral of toxic loans on the Bank Asset Management Company (BAMC), the bank officials said that about 20% of bad loans still remained in the bank, as the bad bank did not take on bad the loans of NLB's subsidiaries in the Balkans.

The bank estimates it has 70% in provisions of existing bad loans, according to Brodnjak. He added that the NLB approved EUR 429m in new loans to companies this year. EUR 78m went for completely new projects, said the management member.

"There is no credit crunch. Every company with sustainable debt and a good project gets a loan," Brodnjak underlined. The management moreover said the bank restored the trust of citizens, as deposits generated in January and February reached EUR 90m.

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