THE CHANGE in the political regime 20 years ago has brought extensive changes to the banking sector in Slovakia. Twenty years ago, there were only the State Bank of Czecho-Slovakia, which later became the central bank, and five banking houses with precisely defined and limited banking operations. The new political system started the launch of commercial banks and today there are 25 banks operating in Slovakia, 15 of which have their headquarters in Slovakia and 10 of which are foreign banks, Poštová Banka wrote in a recent study. The use of banking services has also increased in Slovakia. The volume of aggregate deposits of individuals increased by over 125 percent during the past 10 years, from nearly Sk280 billion to over Sk630 billion (over €21 billion), according to Poštová Banka, but the indebtedness of Slovakia’s population grew by much more over the same period. The aggregate volume of loans amounted to Sk36 billion in 1999 and now it is Sk388 billion (about €13 billion) or an increase of almost 11 times, wrote Poštová Banka. The ratio between loans and deposits of citizens increased from 0.13 to 0.61, meaning that in 1999 there were loans of only Sk130 for each deposit of Sk1,000 and now there are loans of Sk610 based on the equivalent deposit. The aggregate share capital of banks operating in Slovakia increased 7.5 times from Sk8.8 billion in 1993 to its current Sk66.1 billion (€2.2 billion). The shareholders’ structure has undergone a significant change too. After the division of Czechoslovakia, the share of foreign shareholders in the Slovakia’s banking sector rose from 7.6 percent in 1993 to its current 91.4 percent, according to the Poštová Banka study. The banking sector has also become a significant employer, now employing over 20,000 people in Slovakia in comparison to 14,000 at the end of 1992.
The euro is the third official currency used in Slovakia over the last 20 years. The original Czecho-Slovak crown was replaced by the Slovak crown in 1993 and it was replaced by the euro on anuary 1, 2009. €1 = Sk30.1260
23. Nov 2009 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff