May 11, 2018 / 12:01 PM / a year ago

Poland's Handlowy sees further banking consolidation

WARSAW, May 11 (Reuters) - Poland banking sector may see further consolidation this year, the CEO of Citibank’s Bank Handlowy, Slawomir Sikora, said on Friday.

Poland’s banks saw a series of deals in recent years as low interest rates make it difficult for smaller banks to compete and to deliver satisfactory returns.

In December Santander’s Polish unit agreed to buy Deutsche Bank’s local assets, while in April BNP Paribas said it would take over Raiffeisen’s Polish arm. State-run lender Pekao is considering a merger with rival Alior Bank.

When asked if he expects more deals Sikora said:

“Yes, I do expect it, although I’m not talking about us”

“My experience in banking tells me that one can not be sure about timing - if this happens this year exactly or maybe a bit later, of course. Consolidation in the Polish banking sector will continue,” Sikora said. (Reporting by Marcin Goclowski)

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