Best Bank: BRD – Groupe Société Générale
Erste Bank’s acquisition of Banca Comerciala Romana in 2006 certainly put the cat among the banking pigeons in Romania and added a whole new level of competition. However, BRD retains its best bank title for the moment thanks to an impressive set of results in 2006 which indicated positive across-the-board development. It was the only Romanian bank to increase its market share in credits and deposits, up from 16% to 18% and with a return on equity of 36% it was also the most profitable bank in the country in 2006. On an operational level it added 274 new outlets, 350,000 new customers and 2,200 new staff and made investments of €67 million. The bank is clearly determined not only to maintain, but further increase its market share. It is already the clear market leader in fast-growing retail banking market segments such as credit and debit cards, while on the corporate banking side it has boosted lending to both small and medium sized enterprises and major corporates.