Mon | 20.07.2020
UniCredit Bank aims to keep the customer constantly in the centre of its activities, to be a partner easy to work with and a very active part of the communities in which it operates.
With more than 25 years of history, UniCredit is one of the banks with the longest history on the Romanian market.
They meet real client needs with real solutions which harness synergies between business divisions: CIB, Commercial Banking and Wealth Management. The way in which these solutions are developed and provided is as important as the solutions themselves, which is why everything they do is based on our two-core values Ethics and Respect. By focusing on banking that matters, they offer local and international expertise, providing unparalleled access to market leading products and services in 13 core markets* through a European banking network. Leveraging on an international network of representative offices and branches, UniCredit serves clients in another 18 countries worldwide.
Dedicated interview with Executive Vice-President Corporate Investment Banking, Nicola Longo Dente
Nicola has a vast professional experience in UniCredit group where he started his career in the Italian network in the early 80s shortly after embracing an international career in corporate banking moving to Chicago, Hong Kong and New York offices, where he became Deputy Head for the group corporate banking business. In 2008 he moved to UniCredit CEE Division taking his first assignment at Ukrsotsbank Ukraine assuming the responsibility for International & Multinational clients’ business. In 2011 he was appointed Head of International & Multinational Banking at Yapi Kredi Bankasi Turkey until December 2017. Starting from 2018 he took over the position of Executive Vice President In UniCredit Bank SA Romania. Nicola has also accomplished various professional training programs in international banking, capital markets, and business management in New York, London, Turin, Milan and Lausanne.
1. How is UniCredit Bank adapting to the new normal?
As corporate bankers, we are often asked these days about how we see the future economic recovery and what could the “new normal” bring to us. We do, of course, a number of research and outlooks, trying to grasp some future evolutions and, by the nature of our day-to-day activity, we get to tackle the evolutions of the business environment. The main aspect we all face at this moment is the uncertainty, because it is impossible to know what the next evolutions will be and to say how will the recovery scenario for Romania will look like, as long as the pandemic evolution is unknown. The so much needed good news is that recessions come to an end, and the European GDP should close the gap with trend in 2022 or 2023 latest.
2. What are the main changes within the business landscape?
Beyond uncertainty, we also have some certainties: the context of the pandemic generated important changes within the business landscape, and also trends that need to be absorbed and integrated by any company that wants to further develop and grow in the new normal. The context, in which the physical economy abruptly went down, has been offset - to the extent that such an economic tsunami can be offset – by a massive transfer in the online environment of many activities. But digitalization is, for companies, more than a lifebuoy for a crisis situation; it is, in our view, a valid and extremely beneficial choice on a long run, triggering important cost and time savings, and also a service level improvement. For us, at UniCredit, this trend comes to add on a strategy we follow for some time already – offering our clients some of the most innovative digital banking products.
3. What benefits does UniCredit Bank has in comparison to other banks?
The important investments we made in the previous years in supporting this, allow us to be one of the top banks in Romania, with a strong commitment to remaining close to our clients despite the economic context and to further support them. What matters to our clients matter to us – and this is why we put in place all the needed measures to ensure that the full range of banking products and services were also available through remote channels – such as the availability of Business Mobile application, that allows any corporate client to retrieve all relevant information on products and services and perform all main banking activities in a simple, fast and secure way, or the digital signature, that allow companies to digitally sign bank documents, but also to use it in relation with other partners or public institutions. Moreover, for those looking for a way of expending their activity in the online environment, our offer includes e-commerce modules that offer multiple benefits – from support and e-commerce fast integration, 3D Secure payments, and online and social media visibility, with integrated share options. We will not change this strategy, and we will continue to promote and to determine (by our business proposition and offer) this new way of doing business.
4. Are there any special programs in the context of the Covid-19 supported by you?
Going back to “certainties”, we know that the real economy – i.e. the business environment - needs support to recover, as many companies and employees have suffered during this period and, fortunately, the banking system in a strong position, with the ability of being part of the solution. In what concerns us, at UniCredit, we have quickly implemented the measures meant to help businesses overcome the current difficulties. Starting from the solid position we have and also considering the economics evolution we will see in the following period, we want to continue to contribute to Romanian economy’s revival and to sustain our clients – both individuals and companies - through financing, including programs like IMM Invest. IMM INVEST ROMANIA is a government support program in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, which allows SMEs to ensure liquidity for their current activities or for investments, through bank loans guaranteed up to 80% or 90% by FNGCIMM in the name and account of the Romanian state, through the Ministry of Public Finance.
5. Are there any other programs aimed to support your client during this period?
As one of the leading financial institutions within the European Union, we also have a long and successful track record of handling state and EU supported programs – being able to offer our clients a variety of financial instruments, EU grant programs and agricultural subsidies in CEE countries. Based on our profound experience with supranational financial institutions (e.g. EIB, EIF, EBRD, IFC, KfW) and local authorities, we can offer risk sharing solutions allowing lower collateral requirements, as well as pricing benefits for our customers. For example, UniCredit is the biggest supporter of innovative clients in CEE region: UniCredit has entered into a COVID-19 support package offered by the European Investment Fund (EIF) allowing the bank to provide working capital loans to CEE SMEs and mid-caps guaranteed by the EIF at a rate of 80% (previously 50%) under simplified eligibility criteria.
6. What happens if the clients encounter short-term liquidity needs?
We know that especially under these circumstances, businesses can experience delays and disruptions in their supply chains. As a result, new suppliers may be needed, prices may increase, and advance payments or guarantees may be required. We are here to help our clients with any short-term liquidity needs that might arise. Moreover, to support its own suppliers in Romania, UniCredit decided to accelerate how quickly they get paid, executing 'at sight' payments of invoices. This considerably speed up the payment cycle and ensure payments are made faster than the standard contractual terms of 60 days. Because UniCredit is committed to banking that matters, today more than ever.
Find UniCredit Bank online.