entire crisis without getting its feet wet. Unfortunately, that was probably the result of the Dutch Central Bank s insufficient supervision over local banks. Please remember that Rabobank had a 40% market share in the retail market and in the mortgage loan market in the Netherlands. Prior to the crisis The Netherlands had been a country with high income tax rates but also a country offering very substantial tax relief to those who invested their income. Hordes of Dutch nationals invested in real estate. When the crisis hit and property prices plunged, some colleagues from local banks swept this fact under the carpet . In 2011 the management of the Dutch Central Bank was replaced and more scrutiny was applied to how Rabobank discharged its audit functions. Extensive irregu- larities were cited and the order was given for it to take a large amount of provisions and restructure local banks. This meant downsizing 10 thousand employees. This contributed to cooperative members, who were very closely tied to their local market arriving at the conclusion that the Group s international expansion had to be scaled down and a portion of the assets should be divested. To recapitulate, if we compare the costs of acquiring BGŻ with the proceeds from its sale, we can boldly state that this investment was highly profitable for Rabo. There is one more important thing. The conflict between Eureko, with which Rabo was associated and PZU constantly exerted an impact on Rabo s investments. All the actions that were taken were therefore somewhat tainted by the lack of trust between these partners.
What milestones did you have during your term as CEO, what do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
The first one was preparing the Bank for privatization. Moreover, privatization itself, restructuring and rebranding, building a modern retail network - 180 new branches were rolled out. That was a handful. When I stepped down, I was certain that this Bank did not have anything swept under the carpet , it had extensive potential, it was much more modern, it was well-poised to compete with its rivals and it played a major role on the Polish financial market.
DEBIUT BANKU BGŻ NA GIEŁDZIE, 2011 R.
OD LEWEJ: WITOLD OKARMA, WICEPREZES BANKU BGŻ,
DARIUSZ ODZIOBA, WICEPREZES BANKU BGŻ, JACEK BARTKIEWICZ,
PREZES BANKU BGŻ, BERRY MARTIN, CZŁONEK RADY NADZORCZEJ,
ANDRZEJ SIERADZ, WICEPREZES BANKU BGŻ,
GEERT EMBRECHTS, WICEPREZES BANKU BGŻ
IPO OF BGŻ, 2011
FROM LEFT: WITOLD OKARMA, VICE PPRESIDENT OF BGŻ,
DARIUSZ ODZIOBA, VICE PRESIDENT OF BGŻ, JACEK BARTKIEWICZ,
PRESIDENT OF BGŻ, BERRY MARTIN, MEMBER OF THE
SUPERVISORY BOARD, ANDRZEJ SIERADZ, VICE PRESIDENT OF BGŻ,
GEERT EMBRECHTS, VICE PRESIDENT OF BGŻ
160 T H E H I S T O R Y O F B G Z