BUSINESS SHORTS

Polish virtual bank lands in Slovakia

THE INTERNET bank mBank officially launched operations in Slovakia through its website during the last weekend of November.

THE INTERNET bank mBank officially launched operations in Slovakia through its website during the last weekend of November.

The virtual bank, which is a retail electronic banking division of one of the biggest Polish financial institutions, BRE Bank SA, plans to win at least 100,000 clients by the end of 2010. It expects to provide about €500 million (Sk16.6 billion) in loans and roughly €91.1 million in client deposits, the SITA newswire reported.

“In the next three to five years, we want to make it to the top five on the Slovak banking market,” the chairman of the BRE Bank board of directors, Slawomir Lachowski, told the press on November 27.

BRE Bank brought its electronic banking model to Poland seven years ago. Its strategy was not to buy another bank and offer its products.

“We wanted to come up with a brand new concept,” Lachowski said. “There is a new generation of customers on the market who work online and require simplicity.”

A target group of mBank is young people, mostly up to 35 years old.

The bank has started to offer chequing accounts, savings accounts and housing loans in Slovakia.

“By Christmas we will also offer consumer loans to clients,” said the director of Slovak mBank, Marek Duban.

Mutual funds, credit cards, internet payment cards, and products for people working with trade licenses are to be added to mBank’s product portfolio at the beginning of next year.

The bank promotes itself as a low-cost financial house.

“A low price does not automatically mean poor quality, but something that can be highly competitive,” Duban said.

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