Cyprus’ bankers present at the 11th Banking Forum and Fintech Expo

Cyprus’ entire banking industry was present at the 11th Banking Forum and Fintech Expo, which took place in Nicosia on 7 December, where they got to present their views on the challenges but also prospects in banking.

Here’s what the representatives of some of the local banks had to say.

BoC’s Eliza Livadiotou: Well capitalised systemic banks a strong asset for Cyprus

Eliza Livadiotou, Executive Director Finance at Bank of Cyprus (BoC), said that Cyprus’ well-capitalised systemic banks are one of its biggest assets and taken into serious consideration by potential investors.

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Eliza Livadiotou

Livadiotou along with the bank’s Manager Investor Relations & ESG Annita Pavlou looked back at Cyprus’ investment history of the past decade, relaying through their experiences how investors view the island as a business destination.

They cited the geopolitical uncertainty in the region as a major challenge, as well as the fact that Cyprus, being a small economy, provides limited opportunities for growth.

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Annita Pavlou

They also referred to the negative reports surrounding the island’s ties with Russians, while they described the competition from Fintech as another significant challenge.

When it comes to the island’s advantages, beyond its well-capitalised banks, they also cited the island’s diversified business model as well as Cyprus’ double upgrade by Moody’s last October.

HB’s Phivos Stasopoulos: The banking sector trends and the… old news

Phivos Stasopoulos, Chief Banking Officer at Hellenic Bank (HB), said personalised customer experiences and the use of AI are just some of the current trends in Cyprus’ banking sector.

He also referred to neo banks, saying they face to main challenges compared to traditional banks: first, attracting customers and second, ensuring profitability as they usually start off with zero profit and without charging customers.

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Phivos Stasopoulos

Stasopoulos said there were now fewer but bigger banks, while their digital transformation and use of AI is gathering pace.

Financial literacy is another key issue, he said, which the local banks have been prioritising, while he predicted that there will be more collaborations between banks to come.

He described automated credit decisioning, RAROC, costumer 360 and added value services as “old news”.

M. Michaelas: Technology is the future of the financial industry

Miltiades Michaelas, Managing Director at Alpha Bank Cyprus Ltd, is of the view that technology is the future of the financial industry.

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Miltiades Michaelas

He also said that the smaller the bank, the more focused in needs to be on surviving, adding that the utilisation of data combined with a change of culture are the key to an institution’s success. Equally important, he said, is for the organisation to create a digitising legacy and be truly digital.

George Agioutantis: Sustainable growth and boosting our assets

George Agioutantis, CEO of National Bank of Greece (Cyprus) Ltd, committed to reinforcing the bank’s presence in Cyprus and contributed to sustainable economic growth.

He said the banking industry was evolving and has created a dynamic environment that not only affects the bank’s operations but also the consumers’ experience. He said adopting new digital platforms was a must.

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George Agioutantis

Agioutantis said that Cyprus was important for National Bank of Greece, which counts some 3 million active users in Greece.

He said the bank had entered a new era and had a significant role to play in Cyprus, especially in wholesale banking and transactions.

The 11th Banking Forum and Fintech Expo is organised by IMH. The event is designed to bring Members of the Board of Directors, CEOs, Senior Managers, Heads and officers of retail, commercial and corporate banking, Heads and officers from SMEs banking, Strategy Departments, Risk Management Departments, Cards departments, CRM and Customer Data Management Systems, IT departments, Marketing Departments.

This year’s Main Sponsor is Logicom Solutions. It is also sponsored by eBOS, Ecommbx, Ellinas Finance and i-exceed.

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