Poles went for loans. Bank Pekao s vice president talks about what customers do during a pandemic

Along with lifting restrictions, Poles are increasingly looking for the possibility of taking a loan. They are also gradually giving up visits to bank branches, getting more and more business done online. We talk to Marek Tomczuk, Vice President of Bank Pekao SA, supervising the Retail Banking Division, about how coronavirus will change the banking industry.

Adam Sieńko, Spider’s Web: An epidemic is changing the world we knew a lot. Will coronavirus also affect the banking sector?

Marek Tomczuk, Bank Pekao SA: The current situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented situation. While banks were conducting stress tests and preparing for various scenarios, no one was able to predict how the global lockdown would affect the economy, and thus the banking sector.

We can look at this multidimensional economic shock in two ways. On the one hand, it is of a supply nature, i.e. production plants have been closed and supply chains have been disturbed. On the other hand, demand-driven, which results from restrictions on the movement of people. This led to a number of challenges that the banking sector had to face. The most serious of them were: ensuring the health safety of employees and clients and enabling remote work, as well as the need to adapt the business model to the dynamically changing environment and increased exposure to various types of risk.

The effect is, among others, the introduction by the banks of solutions that provide broad access to remote service channels, which customers prefer in the current situation.

Who will come out of this crisis unscathed?

The COVID-19 pandemic threatens virtually every sector of the economy. Many industries face completely new challenges, but additional opportunities are opening up for some industries. The lucky ones who will recover unscathed from the crisis are certainly companies from the e-commerce industry or producers of basic necessities.

The key to them and to many others is the change of technology, which in crisis conditions will allow to continue operations. Restrictions strengthen the development of sales in remote channels, so entities that will be able to switch their operational model to the use of these channels will feel the effects of the crisis to a much lesser extent.

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