Warsaw Back on Top in Polish Banking

WARSAW, POLAND - MAY 07, 2016: Building Palace of Culture and Science among the modern buildings of the city

Goldman Sachs is expecting to hire around 250 staff in Poland, primarily in operations and technology, risk management, treasury and human resources, all back office roles which do not have to be located in more expensive locations. According to the Polish Association of Business Service Leaders, outsourcing centres opened in the country by foreign companies have added 198,000 jobs so far.

“Warsaw has been undervalued for many years by big investors thinking on setting up their shared service centres,” Michał Młynarczyk, CEO of DEVIRE, tells Emerging Europe. “Krakow and Wroclaw were winning this battle due to a potentially bigger talent pool of financial and IT candidates and lower salaries. However as those markets got more saturated and the salaries levelled with the capital city, investors have put Warsaw back at the top of their potential locations.”

According to the European Banking Federation (EBF), Poland is an especially favourable destination for investment in the banking sector: it has a competitive landscape (focused on domestic business and playing an important role in financing private households), SMEs, big infrastructure projects, and project financing. Interest rates in Poland remain positive and the probability of their reduction is low.

Consequentially, thanks to rising credit demand, at the end of 2016 the Polish financial landscape was made up of 36 commercial banks, 558 cooperative banks and 27 branches of credit institutions.

“Goldman Sachs in Warsaw created an opportunity for the city to become a central European financial hub. Goldman Sachs was shortly followed by Credit Suisse migrating processes from Wroclaw, and JP Morgan also opening in recent months. The Goldman Sachs investment will certainly increase the demand for talent in financial and IT roles, which may result in rising salary expectations in those profiles,” Mr Młynarczyk adds.

According to the EBF, in 2016 the Polish banking sector’s assets totalled 386.82 billion euros. As a result, the size of the banking sector has increased relative to GDP. However, this ratio (92.4 per cent at the end of 2016) remains relatively low in comparison with other EU economies, as the share of its credit portfolio in total assets was 56.9 per cent.