WIND OF CHANGE
The demand for challenger banks has surged in recent years, a phenomenon mainly triggered by the pandemic when consumers increasingly embraced digital solutions. With the global economy attempting to return to normalcy, the appetite for digital banks appears to be increasing, with more operators joining the market despite the prevailing macroeconomic factors that threaten the foundation of such platforms. In particular, data acquired by Finbold indicates that as of October 2022, Europe was home to 97 challenger banks, the highest number worldwide, representing a growth of 27.63% from 76 recorded in October 2021.
According to Finbold, traditional banks are also catching up to digital trends by adopting new technologies catering to customers’ needs. The approach is likely to cultivate users’ loyalty in traditional established banks, especially with most neobanks still struggling to gain primary account status among holders. Notably, most consumers leverage challenger banks for secondary bank accounts.
Additionally, traditional banks have the upper hand considering they are already generating revenue. Most challenger banks are yet to achieve profitability as they depend on equity support and venture capital input. Currently, most challenger banks are banking on their business models to lead the path to profitability.
In this context, Business Arena announced the winners of its annual financial and banking awards at last night’s Financial Leaders’ Hall of Fame Awards Gala. Romania’s banking and financial sector looks back proudly on its success stories. Dubbed the engine that drives the economy, banks and the financial sector operate in a highly competitive environment, and have made outstanding progress in introducing new and innovative products and cutting-edge technologies in order to adapt their business model to the requirements of today’s digital world.
Therefore, Business Arena Magazine is proud to recognize the achievements and successes of banks, financial institutions and business leaders that find the winning strategies in spite of the challenging economic background. Business Arena organized the event with the support of its partners: CEC Bank, First Bank, EximBank, Garanti BBVA, Libra Internet Bank, Apulum Porcelain Factory, Worldclass Romania, Via Viticola, Aur’a Mineral Water, Kanal D, Trends by Adina Buzatu, The Brandoers, Events by Tonyo. The event was moderated by Andi Alexandru Antemia.
See Business Arena’s upcoming print edition for more details, photos and winners’ reactions.
Congratulations to this year’s award winners!
LOAN BROKER OF THE YEAR
Recognizing strong operating results and overall strategy reflected in its outstanding contribution to the growth and development of the local lending market.
SME BANK OF THE YEAR
ALPHA BANK ROMANIA
Recognizing its outstanding success in the SME segment, with innovative products and services supporting sustainable finance, productivity, competitiveness, and digital development.
BEST DEBIT CARD CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
LIBRA INTERNET BANK
Recognizing its outstanding role in stimulating the use of modern banking instruments, with its innovative and convenient card programs, enhancing customer relationships and experience.
BEST BANKING STRATEGY
UNICREDIT BANK ROMANIA
Recognizing its achievements and overall success in strengthening its position among the top banks in the industry, based on healthy growth, diversified product portfolio and digital channels, while keeping pace with customer needs.
BEST NEXT-GENERATION OFFERING
Recognizing its outstanding role in promoting the use of modern banking instruments in Romania, providing innovative, cutting-edge online, video, and internet banking products and services for corporate and individual customers.
BEST CUSTOMER-CENTRIC BANK OF THE YEAR
GARANTI BBVA Romania
For its strong commitment to a sustainable strategy promoting customer centricity and delivering an outstanding customer experience across the board.
BEST DIGITAL BANKING CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
Recognizing its outstanding role in stimulating the use of modern banking instruments and procedures in Romania, providing the best user experience with cutting-edge products and services.
CORPORATE BANK OF THE YEAR
RAIFFEISEN BANK ROMANIA
For achieving a high level of recognition and admiration for its successful expansion of corporate customer business, providing innovative products and services and taking important steps in the area of digitalization in a highly competitive market segment.
BANK OF THE YEAR
For achieving a high level of recognition and admiration for its innovative strategies and solid growth in a highly competitive market segment, responding better than any other bank to customers’ needs and expectations.
BANKER OF THE YEAR
SERGIU BOGDAN OPRESCU
President, Alpha Bank Romania
General Manager of International Network, Alpha Bank
For achieving a high level of recognition and admiration from the general business community for outstanding results and qualities of creative leadership.