Banks in the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region experienced an overall growth of 9 percent over the past year, according to the CEE Banking Sector Report 2017.
Raiffeisen Bank noted on its website that the performance of banks last year in the CEE region was "promising" thanks to stabilized and improved asset quality and market recovery.
The report said that the period of extraordinary growth is over, while Western banks are still capitalizing on CEE banking potential.
“We expect the new loan and asset growth rates to be much more sustainable," Johann Strobl, CEO of Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI), said in a press release. "The CEE banking markets still provide opportunities for decent revenue flows given their capacities and diversification."
Last year, banks in the CEE region outperformed Western European bank profitability. The nonperforming loan ratio became more stable for CEE banks during this time, at approximately 8 percent.
Moving towards more digital banking options also seems to help.
“The digital transformation challenges banks to adopt their business models, to boost their speed to market and to be on par with ‘new’ competitors," Hannes Cizek, head of Group Digital Banking at RBI, said. "For Western banks, like RBI, the CEE region is an ideal ‘testing field’ for cross-border digital banking solutions, as the size of some CEE banking markets is comparably small and the users seem to be quite open to accept new products and services as well as innovative retail and communications channels."
The full bank report is available at www.rbinternational.com/ceebankingsectorreport2017.