Dan Pascariu, UniCredit Tiriac: Lending could witness 2 pct growth in 2013

Lending could grow by 2 percent in 2013 and the restructuring of the banking system will continue, Dan Pascariu, president of the UniCredit Bank Tiriac Supervisory Board.

'We forecast a two percent growth in lending for 2013, particularly in the corporate business segment rather than on the retail segment. We also expect the growth of deposits to outperform loans,' Pascariu told the EU-COFILE seminar organized by Alpha Bank, the National Bank of Romania and the Romanian Banks Association in the mountain resort of Sinaia (123 km north of Bucharest).

Pascariu also anticipates restructuring on the Romanian banking market to continue, 'as it has not yet come to an end.'

The cited official said the bank he is working with has a process under way to expand operations on online platforms and is setting a strategy in practice to transform the Call Center service into a Contact Center service with a view to streamlining and diversifying the relationship with its customers via online banking services.

'Over the past two years the number of customers who no longer physically step into our offices has doubled. Most have switched to online services. Bank costs are thus reduced by as much as 20 to 30 percentage points,' said Dan Pascariu.

UniCredit Tiriac Bank posted a three-quarter net profit of 146.8 million lei (33.1 million euros) this year, according to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), up by 18.4 pct compared to the same period of 2011.

In Q3 the institution's net profit was 71.8 million lei, close to the figure registered in the first six months of the year. The bank's total revenues stood at 906 million lei (204 million euros), down 1.3 pct y-o-y. Operational expenses increased by 3.5 pct compared to the same period of the year before, hitting 471 million lei (106.3 million euros). Loan provisions dropped by 19.4 pct in the first nine months of the year compared to the same period of 2011.

As of Sept. 30 bank assets amounted to 23.8 billion lei (5.2 billion euros), by 10.5 pct more compared to September 30, 2011.

Balance sheet loans amounted to 17.6 billion lei (20.6 billion lei externalized loans included), up by 13.7 pct compared to September 30, 2011 and having advanced 10.8 pct from the beginning of the year.