Teodora Petkova, Chief Executive Officer of UniCredit Bulbank: Financial literacy is a prerequisite for well-being improvement
- Both banks and Bulgarians have adopted a common-sense and conservative approach to loans
Banking system indicators are stable. There are several reasons for this. First, we have seen positive economic growth for six years in a row. Second, the banking sector is extremely well regulated. Clients are also becoming more and more financially literate. This is what Teodora Petkova, Chief Executive Officer and Chairperson of the Management Board of UniCredit Bulbank said in an interview for “Wake up” TV programme.
When asked about the level of people’s financial literacy, Teodora Petkova said that there is a positive tendency for financial literacy improvement. ‘We notice that clients ask more questions before deciding on a bank product. At the same time, I sincerely believe that there is still a lot more to be done for the achievement of higher financial literacy’, Mrs. Petkova said. She gave an example with different financial literacy improvement programmes organised by the Bank in which volunteers can participate as well as retraining programmes for mothers returning to work from maternity leave. ‘We firmly believe that a higher level of financial literacy is a prerequisite for well-being improvement’, the Chief Executive Officer of UniCredit Bulbank said.
Teodora Petkova believes that considering the current economic situation of unprecedentedly low unemployment levels, it is quite usual for Bulgarians to feel fairly secure and benefit from the situation in order to make some purchases which will be paid by a future income. ‘My parents would save money during the whole year so that our family could go on holiday at the seaside. Nowadays, consumption is different’, Mrs. Petkova commented on the statistics that many Bulgarians take out a loan to go on holiday.
‘Consumer lending has been on the rise in the past years. People are more inclined to take out a loan thanks to more favourable interest rates’, Mrs Petkova said. However, she believes that this does not make them riskier. ‘Currently, both Bulgarians and banks have adopted a conservative attitude and a common-sense approach’, she said.
Deposits are also on the increase. ‘Approximately 30% of economic growth reported every year goes back to banks in the form of deposits’, Mrs. Petkova said.
According to her, the banking sector is regulated but at the same time it is creative and offers opportunities for development. ‘People and technologies have started cooperating closely with each other. This is why being a banker is a particularly interesting occupation. We can focus on important issues such as customer experience’, Mrs. Petkova said.
Additional media information:
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Victoria Blajeva, tel +359 (0) 2 9264 993, wjlj/ebwjepwbAvojdsfejuhspvq/ch