ECONOMY

Postal Savings Bank’s new products

The Postal Savings Bank is turning into a modern, «popular» commercial bank, according to its vice president, Antonis Kaminaris. In an interview with Kathimerini, he explains the management’s plans ahead of the bank’s listing on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) in 2006 and the corporation’s counterattack on the banking market. How is preparation for the bank’s listing on the stock market proceeding? One of the most important challenges for the Postal Savings Bank is its entry onto the ASE in 2006; this is carefully being scheduled to obtain the biggest possible benefits. The prestige and the current financial results guarantee the success of this effort, strengthening the bank’s development and consolidation process in the banking system. What are the main moves the management has made? What are your priorities for the new year? The new administration, in place since May 2004, has undertaken the PSB’s dynamic reorganization to transform it into a modern «popular» bank focusing on low- and middle-income clients, looking out for their interests with new, simple as well as attractive products with no fine print and at absolutely favorable terms. The corporation’s aggressive tactics has already borne some fruit: Mortgage loans recorded a 267 percent rise in 2005 compared with 2004. Personal and consumer loans, which started in December 2004, have come to 500 million euros. Deposits in October 2005 came to 9.6 billion euros, showing a 4.4 rise from 2004. The number of debit cards showed a 105 percent rise within 2005 from the previous year. Credit card figures are particularly impressive, as sales recorded a 585 percent rise, increasing their absolute number by 75 percent and their balances by 83 percent compared with November 2004. Our objective is that the corporation become a modern and competitive «popular» bank, with people at its center. Most people do not consider PSB to be a commercial bank, but something different. How will you overcome this attitude? For more than a century, PSB has served the values of credibility and certainty and its intention remains to provide a social service to the citizen. With simple banking products and crystal-clear terms, the bank is positioning itself today as an alternative player, or rather a bank whose main aim is to support the citizen. What are the bank’s strong points and what must be corrected? The main advantage of PSB against other credit institutions is its human-centered character and its orientation toward planning and providing its products. We remain loyal to the basic ideas and principles guiding PSB since its foundation, that is, to help ordinary citizens turn their savings into an active financial power. PSB today is taking steps forward. It is renewing its technological equipment and installing an Integrated Information Technology System for higher speed and security in all kinds of transactions; it is enriching its network with new branches, restructuring the old ones and strengthening its cooperation with the Hellenic Post Office; it is improving infrastructure, installing newer technology ATMs at all its branches; offering new deposit programs designed to serve modern requirements and the clients’ interest at the most transparent terms and it dynamically communicates its new products through a people-focused advertising campaign.