Thursday, December 13, 2018
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SBB Magazine 06

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Dear Reader,

SBB Magazine, we decided to share key insights and takeaways (pp. 38-43) from the CEE
SME Banking Club Conference 2017, which took place in Krakow, Poland, last November, as the conference resulted in a lot of ideas and insights to think about.

This year’s Conference for Central and Eastern Europe will be held in Warsaw on October 29-30 (pp. 48-49). For the second time, we will devote a separate panel during the conference to discussing cooperation models between banks and fintechs. The panel will be hosted by The Heart Warsaw, one of the organizations in the region helping corporations and startups grow together (p. 10-12).

This year’s conference will explore more issues related to the digitalization of SME finance (pp. 28-29). The area has evolved a great deal in recent years, considering that two years ago there were no real alternative online-only lenders in the region. And now we have working-capital lenders, automated factoring and automated leasing for micro-enterprises.

In terms of market penetration, however, it seems that the market is still at a very early stage. Eighty percent of customers have never considered anything besides their bank to get financing. Read an interview with Mariusz Zabrocki (iwoca Poland) (pp. 22-25).

This year, we’d also like to discuss the topic of agricultural finance. Olena Gryniuk spoke with Bartosz Urbaniak (Head of Agri Hub at BNP Paribas) about relationship models, digital technologies and challenges while working with farmers (pp. 30-33). Farmers in Poland are showing optimism, so the availability of financing offers is expanding for them, with leasing and loans remaining the most convenient and most effective forms of financing (p. 34).

This issue contains an exclusive article on agile methodology that I hope product managers will appreciate (pp. 36-37). ING Bank Śląski in Poland shared with us just how this methodology operates in SME banking, as this is one of the first banks in the region that implemented the agile methodology.

There is something else of note in this issue as well: the incredible inspiration I felt while conducting interviews with bankers who are changing the industry and shaping SME banking every day, right now.

I’m delighted and honored.
I wish you pleasant reading!

Yours sincerely,
Olena Gryniuk,
CEE Regional Director at SME Banking Club

SME Banking Club is an association of business bankers aimed to provide relevant information on what banks and financial companies are offering for entrepreneurs, micro-, small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

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