The standardisation of the professional competence acquisition process, the improvement of financial transaction safety and higher competitiveness of Polish financiers in the domestic and European markets are the major challenges posed by the Sector Council for the Financial Sector Competence. The financial sector is launching a pioneering project aimed at matching the bankers' competence better with new market trends and customers' expectations.

It was initiated by the partnership of the Warsaw Banking Institute with the Polish Bank Association, among others. The Council represents a total of 25 entities, including commercial and cooperative banks, industry organisations, higher education establishments and training companies.

- For the financial sector, the Council's establishment and activity will allow the entire sector to adapt to and integrate further with the changing landscape of financial services and needs of banks' customers. Financial institutions will thus be able to prepare more effectively for new market trends and regulations and banks will improve the quality of their services and customer assistance on an ongoing basis, said the President of the Polish Bank Association and Chairperson of the Council, Krzysztof Pietraszkiewicz.

As a sector representation, the Council wants to engage in the comprehensible qualification scheme being created in the European Union, which aids in implementing the lifelong learning idea, among other things. As indicated by the Council initiators, the process participation rate among adults in Poland is disturbingly low. At present, the rate is at 10.7% on average in EU countries while it was barely 3.5% in Poland last year (figures by Eurostat).

NetB@nk Report: Over 5 million new accounts in a year

At the end of the last year, the number of accounts enabling individual customers to use banking services via the Internet stabilised at over 30 million. Over 12 months the number had increased by over 5 million, i.e. as much as one fifth, as shows the latest NetB@nk Report presented at a press conference on Tuesday.

The end of the last year brought no major changes as regards the increase in the number of new Internet banking agreements. The growth dynamics in this category turned out to be significantly lower than in previous periods and ultimately, at the end of 2015 Q4 the number of Internet banking agreements reached the level of 30.35 million. This means that 58 thousand new agreements (0.19%) were concluded over the last three months of the year. Taking the whole year into account, however, we may talk about a substantial growth. As compared to the end of December 2014, over 5 million new Internet banking agreements were concluded and the potential of this banking services sector increased by one fifth (20.8%).

The entire year also saw a significant increase in the number of active customers, i.e. those who logged into their bank's Internet banking service once a month at least. There were slightly more than 13 million of them at the end of December 2014; a year later the number increased to 14.5 million (11,3%). In the fourth quarter alone the number of new active customers was relatively low – it grew by 27 thousand (0.19% QoQ). Compared to the status a year before, it was also recorded, for active individual customers, that the average transfer value grew and amounted to PLN 1,119 (increase by 9.6% YoY) and so did the average settlement value per customer.

In Poland, banks have advanced and well secured infrastructure which enables them to offer modern e-banking services to millions of customers. As our data shows, however, the present potential is far ahead of the possibilities of its utilisation.  Over the last year 5 million individual customers more gained access to on-line banking while 1.5 million of them saw that this is a convenient method to communicate with the bank which saves them precious time, says Mieczysław Groszek, Vice-President of the Polish Bank Association.

Challenges Faced by the Polish Financial System + rozwiń