Speaking to Radio Praha about the future prospects for Sberbank Czech Republic amid rumors that it was set for closure due to EU sanctions, a representative of the bank and an independent financial analyst talked to the radio station about the real state of affairs in the bank.
Asked by the international broadcaster whether the rumors of the bank's imminent closure were true, Public Relations Director Radim Kovacs answered that they are not, given that "the sanctions do not affect our Czech Sberbank." The official noted that "as far as sanctions are concerned, we are a Czech bank, with a license from the Czech Central Bank. More than that, we are a part of the group Sberbank Europe AG, which has its central offices in Vienna. And this company is not in the list of entities sanctioned by the EU. This means that for us, access to the European capital markets is not in any way restricted."
Asked whether Sberbank Czech Republic has had to adjust in any way to the cooling of relations between Russia and the EU, to sanctions or to the onsetting economic crisis, Kovacs noted that ultimately, "Sberbank's strategy in the Czech Republic hasn't changed; our development continues. Last year we opened five new branches, and this year we are also planning on expanding. In 2014 our client base rose by a third, bringing the total to 70,000. This year we are aiming at achieving a client base of 100,000 people."
Next, Radio Praha turned to economist and financial analyst Marketa Sichtarova, asking her what she thinks about the bank and its prospects on the Czech market. Sichtarova noted that while the bank is presently one of the smallest on the Czech market, "it is interesting for the types of accounts it offers, and its favorable interest rates." Sichtarova noted that Sberbank "attracts new clients with an intriguing and very aggressive marketing strategy," which works to explain why "some may think that the bank has a much more serious influence [in the Czech market] than it really does."
- Lifted, the measures are counterproductive and have a negative impact both on Russia and the EU.89.1% (1834)
- Tightened, the current sanctions have not worked, pressure on Russia should be increased.6.8% (139)
- Remain the same until the Ukrainian crisis is resolved.4.1% (84)
Asked whether she could recommend the bank to Czech clients, Sichtarova noted that the bank doubtlessly has the necessary capital, with no questions from the country's Central Bank. Furthermore, with regard to sanctions, "in this regard too I would be optimistic."