Laughing all the way to the bank! Polish banks dominate CEE top bank ratings

Eighteen of the top 100 banks mentioned on the list are Polish and five are in the top 10 of Tier 1 capital growth. Kalbar/TFN

Poland dominates The Banker’s Top 100 Central and Eastern Europe EU bank ranking.

The list prepared every year by the British international financial affairs magazine focuses on the capital, assets and growth of the biggest financial institutions in the region.

The high results confirm the Polish market’s strong position, as it accounts for 34.9 percent of the overall assets in Central and Eastern Europe, equalling almost 417 billion USD. In the case of Poland, the ranking results are comparable to 2018, with its position only strengthening.

Four of the top five banks and five of the top ten are Polish, with PKO Bank Polski leading the way, just ahead of Bank Pekao and Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (State Development Bank).

Poland’s strong position on the market accounts for 34.9 percent of the overall assets in Central and Eastern Europe, equalling almost 417 billion USD.Kalbar/TFN

As the magazine points out, PKO’s Tier 1 capital of 9.3 billion USD (core capital which includes equity capital and disclosed reserves) is double the amount Bank Peako can boast, while Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego noted the highest growth, moving from sixth to third place.

Despite the government’s support, the expected mergers of Polish banks have postponed for the time being. In spite of the previous consolidation trend, neither the Pekao - Alior nor PKO - Pekao deals took place. According to The Banker: “While the government is seen to be supportive of stronger locally owned banks that can start to acquire assets abroad, many Polish banks seem content at present to focus on the large domestic market.”

PKO’s Tier 1 capital of 9.3 billion USD (core capital which includes equity capital and disclosed reserves) is double the amount Bank Peako can boast, while Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego noted the highest growth, moving from sixth to third place.Marcin Kaliński/PAP

The same can’t be said about other big players in the region – Hungarian OTP bank, the sixth largest in the region, took over the Serbian Vojovodjanska Banka and purchased several subsidiaries of the Société Générale bank. Still, it is the foreign-owned subsidiaries that control 66 of the top 100 banks.

Overall, the Polish banking sector can boast a significant Tier 1 capital growth of 34.58 percent, third in the ranking, despite unfavourable economic conditions.

Eighteen of the top 100 banks mentioned on the list are Polish and five are in the top 10 of Tier 1 capital growth, including Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego.