The National Bank of Greece, Greece’s largest, has decided to develop its own network in Romania, without excluding a future acquisition of a local bank. National, which, at the moment, has one branch in Bucharest, has decided to open 15 new branches, in the capital as well as in the cities of Constanta, Iasi, Timisoara, Galati, Brasov, Ploiesti, Pitesti and Braila. This decision is part of National’s avowed strategy to become Southeast Europe’s biggest financial group. Expansion into Romania, by far the largest Balkan country with 23 million people and great growth prospects, is a central part of this strategy. National will offer the full range of services, with emphasis on retail banking (mortgages, personal loans, credit cards).