The Czech banking market is already quite full. 44 banks operate here, including branches of foreign institutions. Even so, other interested parties want to take care of clients’ money. A bank from the Partners group could appear in the Czech Republic already this year. “We estimate that, in the best case, we could get the license sometime at the beginning of the holidays, possibly in September, October,” Petr Borkovec says for the group to the weekly Ekonom.
The new project of the financial consulting group attracted prominent names of the Czech investor community – Dušan Šenkypl from Pale Fire Capital, Mallu founder Ondřej Fryc and Tomáš Čupr from Rohlík.cz.
Out of a total of three billion crowns in share capital that the Czech National Bank requires from the bank, these three investors will provide 650 million crowns.
We are not building a second Air Bank
Borkovec says that the bank does not want to tempt clients especially with high interest rates when starting out. “We are not building a second Air Bank, which proceeded in this way. We may have a product in this direction, but it will not be the main attraction. We are not aiming for a broad portfolio of clients who will deposit their free money with us. We want to have clients who live their entire financial life with us life,” he says in an interview for Economist Borkovec.
According to him, financial consulting and banking belong together. “Banking deals with operational short-term money, current expenses and payments. And consulting deals with long-term balance sheets and products,” the businessman explains.
“We need a banking license so that we can better help people lead a healthy financial life. We are creating a mobile application in which clients will manage their entire financial life. Such an application has no general meaning if banking is not in the same place,” he describes his intention.
The new bank should have the fourth largest branch network in the Czech Republic. Borkovec is also interested in banks abroad. “We have analyzed banks in Croatia, Romania, Latvia and other countries where we want to enter in the future. There are interesting small banks available there. If we do not get a license in the Czech Republic, we would buy an institution there,” he adds.
With its license, the Partners group would then enter the Czech Republic, which, according to him, is allowed by European rules. “However, I don’t feel that the CNB is throwing sticks under our feet. I believe that we will make it through together,” he continues.
You can read the complete interview with Petr Borkovec in the next issue weekly Ekonom on Thursday, March 23.
RSBC also wants its bank
At the same time, partners are not the only ones who want to start banking in the Czech Republic. Last autumn, its founder Robert Schönfeld announced a plan to turn the RSBC investment group into a bank.
“It will be specific. The goal is not to have it be the same as existing commercial banks. We want to focus on a more mobile clientele,” he said in February for Economist Milan Šlapák, who currently manages RSBC Holding.
The basis of the portfolio of the Czech RSBC group is residential and commercial real estate, fertile land, real estate funds and industrial and agricultural companies in the Czech Republic and abroad. The group was originally founded to manage the restituted assets of the Schönfeld family. Currently, over 40 companies are part of the RSBC group.
The impact of the bank crisis is yet to be seen
However, some already established players remind us that it is not easy to succeed on the banking market in the Czech Republic. “There are a lot of banks in the Czech Republic, there is strong competition, unlike, for example, in Slovakia, where there is less. It creates pressure – we have to somehow differentiate ourselves in order to succeed,” explained the deputy general manager of Czech mBank Martin in an interview for Aktuálně.cz at the beginning of March Underdog.
According to Podolák, the behavior of the Czechs is also gradually changing during the crisis. The Polish bank with more than 700,000 clients mainly registers the transfer of money from current to savings accounts. “And they are preparing for higher expenses – they are reducing spending on items that are not absolutely necessary. But if I look at the whole, it is stable, I don’t see a big drop in the volume of money,” he adds.
According to Podolák, the crisis will definitely affect a part of the population. “But we will see how big the group will be in some time. There are still savings in the economy, but it will depend on how long we will be in the era of high inflation, high energy prices, the war in Ukraine and limited investments,” explained the representative of mBank.