The European Association of Co-operative Banks (EACB) has the pleasure of introducing an interview with Bartosz Kublik, CEO of Cooperative Bank in Ostrów Mazowiecka, Poland. The National Association of Cooperative Banks (KZBS) interviewed Mr. Kublik at the beginning of May this year.
The current situation caused by Covid-19 is rather exceptional. The Polish government and state institutions introduce a number of support measures and stimuli, primarily for entrepreneurs, but also for regular citizens. What are the greatest challenges that cooperative banks have to face right now?
In my opinion, the basic challenges we are dealing with remain the same, and the coronavirus crisis has only made them more acute. The economic parameters of cooperative banks are a challenge in numerous dimensions related to efficiency, capital and loan portfolio concentration. Attempts that individual cooperative banks make to keep in touch with micro markets and customers are another challenge. A good cooperative bank is a bank that is simply required by its local community. Such a bank takes care of what is important for its customers and adjusts its offering to their needs. It is a bank that does not give up on the general market and does not give way to its corporate counterparts. Such an approach is evidenced particularly well right now, when various support measures are introduced in order to help those customers who are affected by the social and economic lockdown and by the crisis it has created. It would not be understandable if we failed to join those efforts that are of crucial significance for the very existence of our customers.
KZBS represents interests of Polish cooperative banks - members of the Association. It is an official representative of the industry towards the state authorities and administration. It also represents cooperative banks in contacts and cooperation with the foreign cooperative bank industry. It significantly contributes to the development of a legal and regulatory environment friendly to cooperative banks, playing an indirect part in optimizing terms of service for members and clients of cooperative banks in their local communities.