The past year was also the final year in our Fast Forward strategy. We delivered as expected in each of the five “pillars” that our development was based on (simplicity, digitalisation, quality, growth, enthusiasm). We substantially improved Customer service quality, recorded a decline in the number of complaints and reduced the time for their examination. In certain areas, such as digitalisation, we achieved higher growth than what had been expected. The achievement of our financial goals was considerably influenced by changes in the macroeconomic situation caused by the pandemic and resulting in a major decrease in interest rates as well as a temporary decline in Customer activity. Despite the unfavourable conditions and numerous challenges, the growth in business scale and revenue we recorded is a cause for satisfaction and a good starting position for further development.
Digitalisation – both in the Customer services area and in our own business – remains a priority. Our activities, including continuous development of online and mobile banking functionalities, are being noticed, and the best proof of this is the dynamically growing number of Customers in our remote channels, which has exceeded 1.5 million users. The bank’s daily operations are to an increasingly large extent based on agile. In 2021, we prepared to implement Agile@Scale, a new operating model that transposes agile thinking, values and rules onto the entire bank. Approx. 1,300 people began work in Agile@Scale on 1 January 2022. Across 14 Tribes, 46 Products and 54 Chapters, they create and develop products and work on process and system implementations.
As always, what matters to us is not only what targets we want to achieve but also the way in which we want to achieve them. The values of our new organisational culture adopted last year: transparency, courage, empowerment, simplicity and cooperation, are the foundation of our activities. We are guided by these values in our daily work.
Reducing the negative environmental footprint resulting directly from our business and deriving from the investments we finance, turning the sustainability concept into reality, exerting a positive social impact and fighting for the natural environment are all still very high on our agenda. This is why we not only accompany our Customers in their energy transition (the total value of “sustainable financing” granted in 2021 reached PLN 3.9 billion) but we also inspire and show the way. We are striving to build up our stakeholders’ awareness and to implement and promote good market practices in ESG. 100% of the electricity purchased by our bank in 2021 came from renewable sources. Our car fleet is being systematically electrified, and implementing the paperless concept by deploying Autenti solutions is a source of pride for us.
In order to respond to the most pressing challenges even more effectively, we established the Sustainability Area within the bank. This step reflects the importance of ESG aspects for us and our commitment to pursuing the sustainability mission.
I have very high hopes for further development and for an even greater emphasis on our key values and ideas in the bank’s new strategy, which we intend to publish in the first quarter of this year, after it is approved by the Supervisory Board.
The growth in business scale and achievement of objectives – despite the difficult market environment – let us look to the future with optimism. I am hoping that this year will bring us a significant decline in the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on our lives. I am content with the Monetary Policy Council’s decisions on the gradual adjustment of interest rates to reflect the economic reality. Uncertainty over the further development of the pandemic, impact of geopolitical events on our economy and the CHF loan issue remain the key risk factors. Despite the uncertainty, we are fully focused on further growth and on providing the highest quality services to our Customers. Our employees, without a doubt, remain the most important factor in our future success. It is their involvement, professionalism and ability to cooperate that allowed us to reach our current position and let us think about further development with optimism.