Indeed, how do you assess the role played by Bank BGŻ in the Polish economy?
Our market share ranged from two to three percent. However, the Bank did play a spe- cial role in restructuring and modernizing Polish agriculture, both through pre-accession loans and through distribution of EU funds to modernize various areas of agriculture. That led to the Polish agricultural sector being today truly modern, focused on exports and outfitted with world-class technologies.
If you could go back in time, what other decisions would you have made in Bank BGŻ?
Most assuredly, several hiring decisions, especially in the period from 2006 to 2010. Pre- viously, I did not have much freedom of movement. The Bank was dominated by the state, so the executive compensation cap under the chimney act was in place and I could only hire those managers who acquiesced to rather modest compensation. It seems to me that faced with these limitations I managed to choose the best people at that time. However, at a later phase I adjusted several hiring decisions as they had stifled the Bank s develop- ment in some areas, especially in retail.
Were the ownership changes that transpired in recent years advantageous to the Bank?
I think so. First, the state was no longer able to lend support to the Bank in the sense of providing public aid as the EU regulations stipulate. It must be remembered that on top of the earnings we generated, there were two operations in which investors injected capital. This enabled the Bank to develop and meet all supervision standards.
In your opinion, what can the BNP Paribas Group contribute to the former Bank BGŻ?
Most certainly, corporate banking acumen. To date, BGŻ has catered to corporations more focused on agriculture. These clients are not large transnational corporations. Consumer Finance is the next division with extensive experience and achievements under its belt. On top of that, there is of course the matter of sponsoring tennis.
How do you perceive the current position held by Bank BGŻ BNP Paribas on the Polish financial market?
The Bank has an opportunity to become one of the top five to six universal commercial banks in Poland and it is my considered opinion that there will be room on our market for that number of banks at the post-consolidation phase. Just as the new Bank s first
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