Kereskedelmi és Hitelbank
Marko Voljč (CEO), Dr. Ágnes Bába (deputy CEO, Head of the Retail Division),Guy Libot (deputy CEO, Head of the Corporate Division)
|Products||Banking and insurance|
K&H Bank has total assets of EUR 4.7 billion, which leads the corporate banking market, and is the third largest retail bank.
K&H Bank as a universal banking group has a nation-wide network of more than 200 branches. It offers a full range of financial products, including conventional products: account management, investments, savings, loans, bank guarantees, bank card services, custody management, treasury, project financing, Private Banking services etc., as well as investment fund management, leasing, securities trading, factoring, life and pension insurance. These latter services are offered through subsidiaries.
K&H Bank’s majority owner is KBC Bank and Insurance Group of Belgium, with 99,96% ownership.
Founded in 1998 following the merger of Kredietbank, AAB Insurance, and CERA Bank of Belgium, KBC Bank has been dynamically expanding in Europe. Its staff of nearly 43,000 serve nine million clients in 30 countries. KBC focuses special attention on Central Europe, where it has acquired stakes in Polish, Czech, Slovakian, and Slovenian banks. Kredietbank, the legal predecessor of KBC Bank, entered the Hungarian market in 1997 as the winner of the privatisation tender of K&H Bank, in which it has now increased its initial participation of 23 per cent to 99,96 per cent.
The birth of K&H Bank on 1 January 1987 coincided with the introduction of two-tier banking in Hungary.
The founders of the Bank were the Hungarian State and some of the Bank’s long-standing clients, which included companies in the fields of agriculture, the foodstuffs industry, trade and tourism. In the period leading up to 1992, the Bank expanded its profile and clientele, launching new services and dynamically increasing the number of its branches. During this time, the position of many clients deteriorated along with the prevailing economic trends in Hungary, and the Bank’s portfolio of poorly-rated credit increased substantially as a consequence. This situation and plans for continued growth necessitated a consolidation of the Bank, which involved an increase of capital in addition to subordinated debt financing. Thus strengthened, our financial institution merged in 1996 with IBUSZ Bank, our subsidiary specialised in retail services. This merger marked the beginning of a major universal bank, which boasted of the second largest branch network in the country. In the same year, K&H Bank joined VISA and Europay (now MasterCard), and began developing a bankcard product range that remains one of the most versatile in this country.
As the first step towards bank privatisation in 1997, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) took part as a financial investor and extended subordinated credit for the sum of USD 30,000,000 to the Bank, thus shoring up the Bank’s capital. The tender was won by a consortium of Kredietbank of Belgium and the Irish insurance company Irish Life, which at first acquired a package of 9.6% of the Bank’s shares. It then implemented a capital increase, investing USD 60,000,000. A further change in ownership structure ensued when EBRD’s subordinated credit was converted into shares. As a result, the Bank’s strategic investors, Kredietbank and Irish Life, each acquired shares of 23.1%, while EBRD’s share accounted for 18.2%. The capital increase produced a bank that met all international standards with respect to the strength of its reserves and its capital adequacy, and retained the potential for further growth. The Belgian owner KBC Bank and Insurance Group merged the Bank with the Hungarian affiliate of ABN AMRO of Holland in 2001. This merger extended to the subsidiaries of the banks, with the exception of Argosz Insurance (KBC’s non-life insurance company), LeasePlan (ABN AMRO’s car fleet management company), and Mébit Insurance (ABN AMRO’s insurance company).
In accordance with the agreement concluded with ABN AMRO Bank, KBC took advantage of its option agreement and bought out Irish Life’s 17.9% and Espirito Santo Asset Administration’s 7.33% share packages in February 2001, thereby increasing its shareholding in K&H Bank to 98.51% before the merger. The shareholders of the banks approved the merger at their simultaneous general meetings held on 27 April 2001. Following the approval of the Hungarian Financial Supervisory Authority and the Competition Authority, the Court of Registration registered the merged K&H Bank as of 1 July 2001, with KBC Bank holding a 59% share and ABN Amro Bank a 40% share.
The merger resulted in one of the largest financial institutions in Hungary, with a balance sheet total of HUF 1,145 billion, a market-leading position in corporate banking, and second place in retail banking. A year later, K&H Bank successfully completed all merger-related tasks that were still outstanding and launched a new unified account management system in its retail branch network.
In 2002, K&H Bank was the first to issue a microchip-based card in Hungary. This technology is much more secure than magnetic strip cards, since in addition to storing data, it allows for updates and can serve as personal identification. However, the most important news of the year was the introduction of a guaranteed money market fund, another first in Hungary. Subscription was successful, with the portfolio of the K&H Fix Plusz investment fund reaching over HUF 3.5 billion. K&H Fix Plusz 2, issued in February 2003, was received with similar enthusiasm. The roaring success of the two investment funds has made K&H Fund Manager the third largest fund manager on the market. Its business activities have been expanding year after year, and its profits are increasing dynamically.
Marko Voljč (Chief Executive Officer) earned a degree in economics from the University of Ljubljana and Belgrade. Between 1976 and 1979 he headed the analytical department at the National Bank of Slovenia. Between 1979 and 1992 he worked for the World Bank in Washington D.C. and Mexico City. In 1992 he joined Nova Ljubljanska Banka, Slovenia, as the President-CEO of the bank. In 2004 he became General Manager of the Central European Directorate at KBC Bank's Brussels headquarters. In this capacity he was a member of the supervisory boards of KBC's banking subsidiaries in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. Since April 27, 2006 he has been the Chief Executive Officer of K&H Bank.
Dr. Ágnes Bába (Deputy CEO), received her degree and Ph.D. at the Budapest University of Economics. She has worked in senior positions with several banks in Hungary (Credit Lyonnaise Bank, Rabobank). She joined K&H Bank in 2001, where she supervises the financial and risk management areas.
Guy Libot (Deputy CEO), after receiving his diploma at the University of Antwerp (UFSIA) in applied economics, he started his close to 20-year successful international career at KBC in 1987. He has worked in New York, Los Angeles, Rotterdam, and later managed the bank's Singapore office for five and a half years. In Holland he worked as KBC Bank chief executive officer and in Poland as deputy-CEO at KredytBank. He joined K&H Bank on July 24, 2006. He has been leading the Corporate Division since July 9, 2007.
Attila Gombás is a member of K&H’s Executive Committee. He joined K&H Bank in 1994, after earning his degree at the Budapest University of Economics. He has been working for the Controlling area since 1995, which he has been managing since 2002. He has been working as the acting director of the Finance and Credit Management Division (now called the Finance and Risk Management Division) since October 2005.
Lajos Beke (Senior Executive Director), is the head of the bank’s Operations Division and a member of its Executive Committee. He studied at the Budapest Technical University and the Budapest University of Economics. He joined K&H Bank in November 2002 as the head of the Information Technology Directorate and took over the management of the bank’s Operations Division in May 2004.
Bartel Puelincx joined KBC Bank in 1992 after graduating in applied economics as well as in law. He started within KBC as a legal advisor in the field of trade finance but spent almost his entire career in corporate banking. In April 2006 he was offered the position of head of K&H Corporate Business Policy and Sales Support Directorate. In August 2007 he was appointed head of HR & Credit Management Division and member of the Executive Committee.