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- As the region’s markets mature, cost effective expansion through use of technology is a key challenge.
- Transparency and governance of financial institutions still has some way to go in former CIS countries of Central Asia, Eastern and Central European banking standards increasingly convergent with those of Western Europe.
- Turkish banking sector anticipating cost reduction drive in 2011 as economic stability drives up dependency on retail customers for profitability.
Source: Roland Berger, 2009
The region continues to present attractive growth opportunities for retail financial services providers either in terms of volume opportunities (an estimated unbanked population of 193 million across the region, inbound remittance values of over $60 billion) and value opportunities, as a growing middle class and larger numbers of wealthy customers allow providers to cross-sell and better segment their customer base.
As the region’s economies prosper however and labour costs rise, successful providers will be those that manage to continue to offer good service but increasingly automate and use technology to keep control of costs. Given this scenario, industry commentators are increasingly telling us that the self-service revolution is only just beginning.
With Central and Eastern Europe increasingly in tune with their Western European counterparts, countries further east still have some way to go either in terms of governance or transparency or product offering. The recent government bail-out of the Kazakh banking system has gone some way to setting the region on the right path but it remains to be seen what impact the reining-in of the financial system will have on financial inclusion rates and economic growth.
Eurasia Retail Banking Product Watch 2011
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