Zdenek Turek: The specialists
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Zdenek Turek: The specialists

As part of Euromoney's 50th anniversary coverage, we profile some of the biggest names that we interviewed for our May CEE focus.

When Zdenek Turek left the central bank of Czechoslovakia in 1991 to join Citi’s newly opened Prague office, the local banking market was almost non-existent.

“There was no customer service to speak of, and know how was very low when it came to banking products,” he says. “Culture, risk management – everything had yet to be built.”

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Of course, early pioneers such as Citi did not have the Czech market to themselves for long.

“The decisive moment was when the large state-owned banks were sold to foreign players like Erste and Société Générale,” says Turek.

“Lenders which had been lagging in quality of service became forceful competitors, and the rest of the market that didn’t make acquisitions had to up their game and build scale, or pull back.”

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