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Editorial

Dear readers,

Welcome to the first TBI {Inside} for 2018. Through the year to come, we will constantly update you with the actions we take in order to move TBI Bank to a next level. In this edition of TBI {Inside}, we speak to Florentina Mircea, our Chief Business Banking Officer, and Branch Manager, about the perspectives and inspirations for 2018.

Meet&Greet two of the new members of our great team of top talents: Kristina Shtereva who has joined our global family as Director Corporate Marketing, and Vesselin Dimitrov – our Director Corporate Communication. We share with you what Peter Baron and Valentin Galabov said about the bank’s development and plans for digital transformation, as well as the future of technologies in the sector, in a special interview for Capital Daily. Keep yourself tuned for the Dokoni developments – our brand new system for documents and processes management. We had a challenge for all of you who are skiing masters and we already have the lucky participants – check who they are and let us all support them in bringing the №1 positions in the annual Banking ski fest in March.

All your support, recommendations for improvement, contribution and eagerness to learn more and more about what’s happening within our organization, will be welcome in the new year ahead. Have prosperous 2018!

Desislava Mihova,
Internal Communication Manager

Guest Editor’s Corner

“2018 will be another phenomenal year for us”

In the last edition of TBI Inside we spoke to Petr Baron, the CEO of TBIF Financial Services, about the successes and lessons learned in 2017 and the plans for next year. Аt the beginning of 2018, we speak to Florentina Mircea, our Chief Business Banking Officer, and Branch manager, about the perspectives and inspirations for 2018

2017 was a phenomenal year for us, we’ve started a great journey together. What’s your inspiration and hopes for 2018?

Given the pace of change in the fintech and banking sector, it’s gonna be another transformational year for us. I hope you all celebrated the start of 2018 in good spirits with family and friends. Now that we’re a few days into the new year, it’s good to look ahead and think about what this year may bring us. It’s important for us to use our time wisely and move forward as decisively and swiftly as we can in 2018. That will only be possible with continued dedication and teamwork, primarily in our own teams, but equally across the whole group. While we’ve successfully started our digitalization journey, we need to continue to work together in order to create successful businesses. So I encourage all of us in our decision making and generating ideas to evaluate not only what is best for our direct business, but also the potential impact we can generate on the Bank as a whole.

In Business Banking the change has been deep. We have completely changed our business model in terms of products, target market, sales program, technology. It is interesting and exciting to see how a group of professionals could change themselves and adapt so quickly to the new strategy. But I knew from the beginning that we have wonderful people and every time during the last 16 years of TBI we succeed to reinvent the business banking whenever was necessary in order to be the first and to be different.

The past year has had a significant impact on all of us, but I would like to thank you all for your significant support and dedication during these challenging times. The year ahead will bring its own challenges but I’m sure by working together, keeping focused on our priorities and putting our customers first we can realize our ambitions. These will certainly continue to be my priorities and I am convinced the Bank can count on all of you to do the same.

After working in this sector for so many years, what excites you the most?

I’m excited to work in a challenging environment and we must accept that banking was such…

Guest Editor’s Corner

“2018 will be another phenomenal year for us”

In the last edition of TBI Inside we spoke to Petr Baron, the CEO of TBIF Financial Services, about the successes and lessons learned in 2017 and the plans for next year. Аt the beginning of 2018, we speak to Florentina Mircea, our Chief Banking Officer, and Branch manager, about the perspectives and inspirations for 2018

2017 was a phenomenal year for us, we’ve started a great journey together. What’s your inspiration and hopes for 2018?

Given the pace of change in the fintech and banking sector, it’s gonna be another transformational year for us. I hope you all celebrated the start of 2018 in good spirits with family and friends. Now that we’re a few days into the new year, it’s good to look ahead and think about what this year may bring us. It’s important for us to use our time wisely and move forward as decisively and swiftly as we can in 2018. That will only be possible with continued dedication and teamwork, primarily in our own teams, but equally across the whole group. While we’ve successfully started our digitalization journey, we need to continue to work together in order to create successful businesses. So I encourage all of us in our decision making and generating ideas to evaluate not only what is best for our direct business, but also the potential impact we can generate on the Bank as a whole.

In Business Banking the change has been deep. We have completely changed our business model in terms of products, target market, sales program, technology. It is interesting and exciting to see how a group of professionals could change themselves and adapt so quickly to the new strategy. But I knew from the beginning that we have wonderful people and every time during the last 16 years of TBI we succeed to reinvent the business banking whenever was necessary in order to be the first and to be different.

The past year has had a significant impact on all of us, but I would like to thank you all for your significant support and dedication during these challenging times. The year ahead will bring its own challenges but I’m sure by working together, keeping focused on our priorities and putting our customers first we can realize our ambitions. These will certainly continue to be my priorities and I am convinced the Bank can count on all of you to do the same.

After working in this sector for so many years, what excites you the most?

I’m excited to be working in a challenging environment and we must accept that banking was such an environment for the last more than 10 years. We faced the need to grow and compete, the need to deal with a crisis to manage and learn the new face of risk and now we are in another stage to reinvent the banking based on customer experience, technology in order to show the human face of banking. Each experience is bringing knowledge and maturity in our professional life and all generations are on the test.Important in our professional life is to build and we must not let ourselves to be trapped in the comfort zone. I’m honored to get to work with each of you in an energized organization.

What’s your dear message to the team at the beginning of 2018?

We are one team, one big family! I wish you a new year filled with health, wonder, joy and treasured moments. I hope you are blessed with delight, fulfillment, and peace in the new year. I am grateful, truly grateful, for our work with you in 2017, and I look forward to working together in the new year.

Florentina Mircea,
Chief Business Banking Officer

TOP FLOOR

Petr Baron & Valentin Galabov: “We want TBI Bank to become the first fintech Bulgarian Bank”

Petr Baron, our Managing Director of TBIF Financial Services, and Valentin Galabov, Chairman, spoke to the financial media ‘Capital’ about the bank’s development plans, the digital transformation of banking and the future of technology in the sector.

How is the bank developing after the deal last summer and does it meet the expectations of its new owner – 4 finance?

Petr: Yes, our expectations are entirely met, especially since TBI has been a successful bank on the Bulgarian and Romanian market even before the deal. This success has continued and we are here to build upon it. According to the latest data for 2017, we are among the best banks regarding return on assets and equity, which are key indicators of the performance of banks. The results of the asset evaluation done by the regulator also place us among the best. In 2017, the profit of the bank will be the largest since its creation, which speaks for the efficiency of its employees. TBI continues its very successful development and we are happy to announce our new investment in technology. The potential for technological development in financial services is huge, not only regarding consumer loans which have been the focus of the Bank historically. TBI is a great platform for this development.

In this new environment, where will TBI be positioned on the financial services market?

Petr: We do not intend to compete with the big banks and will focus on what the bank has always been good at providing affordable, fast and convenient consumer credit. We will continue building a transparent relationship with clients and maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction. At the same time, given that mobile devices are so widespread, our financial group is focused on the digitalization of services. This applies not only to the internal bank management processes, but also the relationship with customers, better awareness of their needs and behavior and the introduction of better user experience. We strive for faster processes both here and in Romania.
Valentin: The philosophy of the bank has always been to shorten the physical time from the first contact with the customer to obtaining the service. Therefore, we strive to develop technology to quickly provide what the customer wants. We focus on consumer lending and will continue to do so, and the shift from offline to online is only aimed at providing faster and better service to consumers.
Petr: For example, the online loan application form will adjust according to the user, and the number of fields to fill in will decrease for repeat customers. Banking is changing slowly. Fintech companies already give an example how things can work in a better way, but they are still very small. We want to get the best of both worlds – TBI is not too big, we can quickly introduce new technological solutions, but we are not too small either, and we can afford to invest resources and great intellectual capacity. We believe that we are in the golden mean and we hope to reap maximum benefits.

During the summer, the bank sold the leasing company “TBI Rent”. What was the reason and are you planning more optimizations of the structure of the company?

Petr: This business line was not the core of our business, it was inherited from the transfer of ownership and has never been part of our development strategy. This is why we sold it. Our next steps will be to invest in our core business.
Valentin: Our goal is to focus on consumer lending and everything else which is out of this scope, and it was relatively small, it does not interest us.

How will the new regulations and requirements for provisioning affect the bank given that it has relatively small capital?

Petr: Our requirement is always to comply with regulations. Regarding capital requirements, we are among the best-capitalized banks in Bulgaria. We have a level of capital adequacy of nearly 25%, which is twice higher than the minimum required by law. In terms of the two main directives affecting the banking sector: the Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2), we work closely with the banking associations and regulators to clear out all the details and introduce them. By the end of the year, we should also meet the requirements of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) and we are making the necessary investments in technology. The investment in new technology is a priority for us anyway, and in this case, it is up to the people to make the best of it.

What are the opportunities and advantages of the smaller banks in complying with the new requirements as PSD2?

Petr: First, there is still an uncertainty about the deadlines and formats in which banks have to disclose banking information. In the beginning, everyone expected that PSD2 will give preference to smaller banks, but this is only the case when they are ready to invest both in technology and in human capital. While big banks in most cases already have it. However, they also invest directly in creating more modern and dynamic structures. HSBC, one of the largest banks in Europe, not only reveals banking information but also creates a portal for access to customers for all other stakeholders in the system. In this context, let’s not forget the potential for developments in this field by Facebook, Apple, Google, etc. In fact, only 10 years ago there was an ad which, shocking as it is if I remember it correctly, sounded like this: “There are greater chances for the customer to go to prison than to change their service bank.” That’s how conservative the situation was 10 years ago in the UK, something that can hardly be said about the state of the market today.
Valentin: Our market is a highly competitive environment and our customers are usually clients of our competitors, too. We are already used to the fact that there is a transfer of customers in one direction or another. We are accustomed to living in this competitive environment, we have to offer products to attract new customers and have adopted a philosophy that you can retain every customer only by constantly offering him what he needs. If you lose momentum even for a moment, there is no way to retain him unless the market allows you to.

And what are the costs of banks in order to meet these requirements?

Petr: Frankly, I do not think any bank has a clear account of the costs. It depends on the infrastructure of each individual bank. In our case – as TBI is investing heavily in improving infrastructure anyway, these additional costs will not be significant because we are currently replacing the operational platform which is also much more open. Therefore, we are not talking about major additional expenses because either way, we will introduce an open API (application programming interface). For banks that use an older type of infrastructure, these costs will be on a larger scale, and they will face higher risks in updating it. For example, some wounds can heal only with a band-aid, others need stitches, but in other cases, you have to graft a bionic hand. This third case cannot be resolved simply by putting more band-aids, and my feeling is that some banks are trying to do just that. The same applies to banks after mergers, banks that have been glued together but as we know, the adhesive may not be as tight as a uniform whole. We take the digital transformation very seriously, thus we recently hired Andreas Down as Chief Technology Officer. He comes from the German bank Fidor known as one of the first digital banks which is used as a prototype of many of the new type of banks as Monzo, N26, Starlink Bank. He helps us transition to the new platform and the people who created it for us perceive Andreas as a demigod, using many of the things that Fidor did back in 2011. Therefore, we do not perceive these changes as part of just fulfilling the requirements of PSD2 and GDPR, but as an investment in our common digitalization and improving internal processes in order to be more competitive and improve customer satisfaction.
Valentin: It is not a coincidence that everyone is talking about the millennials, Generation Z: these are clients that come with eyes wide open to the world, for them it is very difficult to be loyal to only one financial institution. PSD2 regulates processes that we anyway try to complete.
Petr: The fintech services market starts to look like a bubble – there are so many applications, digital banks and so on. But if you look carefully at their results, you will see that none of them makes a profit. They run high costs and are always dependent on the next investor. We strive to be one of the first fintech banks which make the high profit with a stable capital base, high-cost effectiveness, and a very flexible approach. In Bulgaria, we see few such companies – modern technological solutions to be applied here in the country and for the country.

According to the proposal, banks have 18 months to implement PSD2. Will you be able to keep this deadline?

Petr: Given the introduction of our new platform, that will hardly be a problem for us. Deadlines are deadlines but the truth is that the format in which bank account information will be open is not yet clear. There are a lot of technical details that have not yet been specified, but especially for TBI, I do not think deadlines would be a problem.
Valentin: PSD2 is also expected by the non-bank financial institutions and fintech companies. However, we do not carry the heavy load that big banks carry, so I do not expect it to create issues for us. Since we are in the middle between two extremes, it is a chance not only to keep but to increase our competitiveness.

Do you think fintech companies can be more of a hindrance or a partner in the digitalization of banks?

Petr: Fintech companies play a very healthy role in the financial services sector. We are already partnering with such companies in data analysis and technology solutions, consulting, and in our strategy development. Here in Bulgaria, we work with leading fintech consultancy 11fs to build our digital strategy. We see them more as partners than as a threat because you cannot be good in everything, instead, you have to understand what your strengths are and we are very good at providing affordable consumer loans. At the same time, we will add more services which do not necessarily have to be created by us, but they will be provided under one umbrella with our other products. In this case, PSD2 is extremely helpful as well as the whole fintech environment. For example, Transferwise – all new banks such as N26 and Monzo work with them since none of them could provide a better service in this area. These are the so-called plug-in services. Again, we return to the topic of the golden mean – we must be large enough to apply this technology, but not too big to have flexible solutions and implementation.

What do you think about blockchain technology and do you have employees who work on it?

Petr: I wish we had such employees but at the moment we have only held several meetings to discuss the future of this technology. I think in the future blockchain will become a new standard for information sharing and will be implemented everywhere – not today, maybe not tomorrow, but in 3 to 5 years, it will become a standard with mass applications.

MEET & GREET

Our new top talents: Kristina and Vesselin

Today we meet&greet the new members of our global family of top talents – Kristina Shtereva and Vesselin Dimitrov who joined our team to guide our transformation to a next generation digital lender in their own fields. Kris joins the bank in the role of Director Corporate Marketing, and Vesko – Director Corporate Communications. They will be in charge of the joint brand vision and the reputation of TBI Bank.

Kristina brings in more than 18 years of experience in launching big international brands on the market, developing and managing communication strategies and campaigns. In the last 8 years, she has managed the marketing teams of Samsung and Huawei, contributing to the success of both brands.

Vesselin has been a journalist in Capital weekly and Spiegel magazine and Deputy Editor in Chief of Forbes magazine. In 2015, he moved to the communications sector managing marketing and communications of the well-known tennis tournament ATP Garanti Koza Sofia Open.

How will your main focus of work contribute to our ‘Next Gen Digital lender’ vision?

Kristina: Transforming  our company in a “Next Gen  Digital Lender” is a process in which the marketing team should be 100% dedicated. Nowadays a pig part of people’s time is so  much occupied by the new technologies and innovations so we should find the best way to reach these people, engage and make them believe us. From one hand, the marketing team should develop a communication strategy in-line with the needs and behavior of the new generation and our potential customers, from the other, we should find the most appropriate way of communication – utilizing all digital assets.  I really want our brand to have one look, one feel and one voice…

MEET & GREET

You both bring here impressive experience from different business sectors, what is your working credo?

I am a very deadline oriented person so I always push my team to be very strict on and keep the deadlines. Otherwise, we can destroy the whole process and miss huge opportunities. I am always working with plan A & plan B, especially in cases when my work depends on third parties. My work experience taught me something very important: “Never go to your boss with an issue, go with a solution for the issue.”  

As a marketing person – good and innovative ideas in which I find some huge potential for communication, inspire me a lot. I am not afraid to take a risk and try some new approaches. I do believe that trying to be different, sometimes even provocative could give you some advantages. “Passion” is the word that describes best my understanding of work. I believe in teamwork so the success should be shared. I am always open and transparent to the members of my team and the people I work with so I expect the same from them. I love people who come to me and say “I made a mistake”.

And finally, share with us what’s your superpower?

My superpower is my smile and ability to communicate with people. I believe that if you find the right way of communication, you can open each door and achieve your goal. People should talk. The biggest mistakes in all businesses come because of people not talking to each other or using a wrong communication approach.

Vesselin: The next generation digital world – and its representatives – are quick, flexible, creative, goal-oriented, a new kind of species so to say. That’s what we, at the Corporate Communications department, also aim to be. We want to be the carriers of this newly established ‘next gen’ culture from within TBI Bank to the outside world. By doing our everyday work, and creating new, cool projects our team wants to add value to what all our colleagues in the Bank are doing – by making their work visible. The cooperation with the Corporate Marketing department will be crucial for that, but we will work closely with each and every other division in the Bank.

MEET & GREET

You both bring here impressive experience from different business sectors, what is your working credo?

For years I have worked for some of the biggest media – both in Bulgaria and in the world. So I got used to delivering quality work under deadline and on a weekly basis.

After moving to the communications sector, for a couple of years, I have worked on a project base, so I have learned to be very effective and complete a lot of projects simultaneously. Combining these two aspects of work – quality and effectiveness – keeps me happy, makes work fun for me and you could say they are my working credo.

The other important aspect is my commitment to social projects. For years I have supported the work of a couple of education foundations with my expertise. This is my way to keep the internal balance and give back to society.

And finally, share with us what’s your superpower?

You will rarely see any emotion on the outside, but on the inside, everything is boiling all the time. That is a cool superpower, right? This changes once a week when I watch the games of my favorite football team. I have a secret package of smokes for the game (I do not smoke otherwise), I swear, I shout, I jump, I cry. And here is another superpower – you could meet me at the places you expect the least.

INSIDER

Dokoni PROCESS: stay tuned 

Quickly and easily automate all types of business processes, routine tasks, and document management

Any organization these days depends on the automation of its document processes as well as dynamic changes. As we shared with you in our last edition, our brand new system for documents and processes management Dokoni PROCESS, went live at the end of 2017. It empowers us to quickly and easily automate all types of business processes, route tasks, and document management.

We have initially introduced automated procurement and payment processes as they are most commonly used by all of us. Now you can order goods and services, receive expense approvals from the required levels, prepare contracts in collaboration with the responsible colleagues and process the invoices. Dokoni will guide you through each step of the process.

  • NO PAPER

  • NO CONFUSION

  • NO DELAY

Many colleagues have had the chance to test and explore it. “I am now equipped with a tool which automates my repetitive tasks related to the documents flow of all sorts of training, reduces their approval and processing time, limits the rework and errors and improves collaboration between the colleagues in the process. I prefer the self-service and the higher level of independence, and I can track the performance.” shared Nevyana Zhelyazkova, People & Organization Development Manager, who has already used the system several times.

“It’s not one simple process – we will be constantly adapting and fine-tuning the system according to the demands and needs of our colleagues,” says Krum Todorov, business owner of the system. “Dedicated training have been organized both in Bulgaria and Romania to present the system. If necessary, new training could be additionally provided. For your convenience, a Q&A section will be developed in the system where you will be able to find commonly asked questions and answers”.

In case you have further questions, or would need assistance, please write us back HERE.

The next processes to be developed are the Business trips, Incoming/Outgoing mail management, Employees’ Leave management. The system for Bulgaria is accessible from any device HERE and invites you to automate and simplify your daily tasks. For Romania, the system will be available for test purposes HERE. You will be additionally informed when the tests will start.

FOR YOU

Our ski masters will be…

As part of our internal ‘Be active” culture and campaign, we challenged you in the last edition of TBI Inside, looking for 2 skiing masters who will represent TBI Bank in the annual Banking ski fest in March 22-25th 2018, Borovets Ski Resort near Sofia, Bulgaria.

The call was open to all TBI employees both Bulgaria and Romania, covering certain listed criteria. To apply for participation, besides being a skiing master, you should have worked for us more than 6 months and have the approval and recommendation from your manager (in an e-mail). Because of the high interest, the dedicated Committee decided to nominate 3 employees who will get full logistics coverage for the contest. We are happy to announce the 3 ski masters:

  • Evgenia Dimitrova-Gontcheva (Payments Team)
  • Stanislav Kostakiev (Retail Risk & Collection Team)
  • Dobrin Dobrev (Information Security Team)

It’s an honor that you will represent the Bank and give your best to boost our image as a cool bank where active lifestyle matters and being first is in our veins!  Get ready, and let’s show the rest what it is to be №1 on the fast track as well!

DID YOU KNOW?

Our Debit and Credit Cards with higher cash withdrawal limits

The beginning of the new year brought us higher cash withdrawal limits for our TBI’s debit and credit cards.

The amendments enable us and our customers to draw twice more but have in mind the ATM’s limitations as well.

The increased limits for withdrawing cash are reflected in the  “Standard Tariff for Charges and Commissions for Individuals”

(Section IX. Bank Cards) that is available at any of our branches, as well as on our website.

EAGER TO LEARN

You Can’t Use Past Solutions to Fix Future Problems

To get an ‘insider’s perspective’ on how a fintech moves from an embryonic stage to a working business model in a highly established, and regulated industry, see what 4 fintech luminaries say on the future of digital banking disruption, startup challenges & opportunities, and perspectives on what it will take to transform financial services in 2018 and beyond. To find our what four fintech luminaries have to say, click HERE.

Write us back

at tbi.inside@tbibank.bg and become our next GUEST EDITOR, Travel guide around a TBI location, share your TALENT or HOBBY, or just let us know what do you want to learn from us in 2018.

Write us back

at tbi.inside@tbibank.bg and become our next GUEST EDITOR, Travel guide around a TBI location, share your TALENT or HOBBY, or just let us know what do you want to learn from us in 2018.