I joined the Supervisory Board of BNP Paribas Bank Polska at a very special time, in the midst of the fight against the pandemic that posed unprecedented challenges to the society, economy and business in Poland and globally. Already then I looked with appreciation at the work of the bank which reacted extremely efficiently to these exceptional circumstances, taking care of the safety of its employees, accompanying Clients in overcoming new challenges, and engaging in governmental and sectoral aid programs and social initiatives. At the same time, the bank did not forget for a moment about its strategic goals, implementing more new technological solutions and financing the economy.
The past year has further confirmed the bank’s ability to successfully face a volatile environment, especially an environment of changing interest rates, prolonged pandemic and inflationary pressures. 2021 was a year in which BNP Paribas Bank Polska consistently strengthened its position on the Polish banking market, through a significant increase in its lending activity and the number of Clients served, acceleration of technological transformation, expansion of the omnichannel approach and digitalization, all in line with the expectations of the Clients whose habits were changed by the pandemic. The bank quickly responded to the signs of market recovery, meeting the needs of our Clients, e.g. by providing financing for major investment projects carried out by Polish enterprises. These efforts were sealed by the title of the „Bank of the Year” granted to the bank (among many awards) by The Banker monthly.
In parallel, it is crucial for the bank to continuously improve the client experience, the so-called Clients’ journey through, among other things, continuing development of digital services or utilization of technology to increase the availability of modern online and mobile banking in all areas – to name a few – open banking, mobile wallets, client acquisition, KYC and strengthening the use of technology in the bank’s processes, use of data, cloud solutions, etc. Rapid changes are taking place in this area which will be further supported under the bank’s new Agile@scale approach.
I am particularly glad that BNP Paribas Bank Polska is an organization aware of its impact on the environment and approaches it with full responsibility. Climate change and environmental, social and corporate governance („ESG”) issues are integral to the bank’s long-term strategy and identity. This approach is also reflected in the bank’s competitive offering of pro-environmental financial solutions, both for retail Clients (e.g. under the Clean Air program) and corporate Clients. The growth of financing for broadly understood energy transition and sustainable development is impressive – in 2021 it doubled to PLN 3.9 billion. The bank not only draws on the many years of experience of the BNP Paribas Group, which is the world leader in this sphere, but also builds and develops its own competence in this area. This is exemplified by participation in one of the first syndicated sustainability linked loans in the European logistics industry, where the bank acted as Sustainability Coordinator.