The American Citibank has changed its strategy for Slovakia and intends to widen its clientele by attracting small and medium-sized businessmen. The bank officially opened its first non-Bratislava branches on November 17 in Košice and on November 18 in Banská Bystrica.
As Citibank Director David Francis told a news conference in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia's short-term outlook is not simple, but it is improving. Long-term prospects for business in Slovakia remain good, Francis added. By launching a regional branch network, Citibank wants to send foreign investors a signal that operations in Slovakia face good prospects.
Citibank, which has concentrated in the past on financial institutions and big corporate clients like steelmaker VSŽ, Železiarne Podbrezová and Fermas Slovenská Ľupča, decided recently to change its strategy and establish itself among SME's, which offer the most dynamic growth potential for the upcoming years.
In the first half of this year, Citibank increased its total assets from 11.1 billion Slovak crowns to 11.8 billion crowns.