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Independent commentary by country


Albania Aside from domestic software, Oracle FSS’s Flexcube is by far the dominant system in this country, aided by a long- standing and highly experienced local partner. Among the takers were Emporiki Bank, part of a wider multisite roll-out in the larger Crédit Agricole group, and another Greek bank (now Emporiki’s parent), Alpha Bank. Albania is one site for the Delta Informatique-derived


Delta-Bank system (now branded as Amplitude within Sopra Banking Software) within a multisite roll-out at Société Générale. Credins Bank is a long-standing user for collections of the FMS core system from Greek supplier, Profile, and is gradually moving to the new version, FMS. Next.


Baltic States


These were hard hit by recession in 2008, after a number of boom years (the region had also suffered a series of crises during the 1990s). Parex Bank, the second largest in Latvia, was taken into government control in 2009; Bank Snoras, the third largest bank in Lithuania, suffered a similar fate. However, Moody’s changed its rating for the Baltic


banking sector in September 2013 from negative to stable, bolstered by an expectation of continued GDP growth in all three countries. Moody’s said that ‘many of the region’s larger banks having undertaken severe write-downs during the financial crisis, problem loan levels are now falling, although absolute levels remain high’. Much of the region’s banking sector is now in Nordic


hands, aiding the stability. There have been few signs of life in terms of system selections in the last few years. Domestic supplier, Lithuania-based Forbis, has a relatively strong hold in the region. In Lithuania, SEB, Swedbank, DNB, Nordea and Danske


Bank now account for more than 80 per cent of bank assets. In 2007, Forbis signed Finasta and in 2008 Oracle FSS signed SEB. There were no new selections after this until a solitary win for Forbis in 2014. It is a similar story in Latvia. The same five Nordic banks


controlled 66.5 per cent of Latvia’s lending market by the end of March 2012. In 2011, there was a single core


banking deal in Latvia, at Latvian Business Bank (LBB), which went to Forbis, but nothing known since then. LBB took Forbis’ Forpost core banking system, following a reorganisation and ownership change that year. This was the first core banking software deal recorded in Latvia since 2006. LBB was acquired in mid-2013 and is now Bank M2M Europe, still with Forpost. There was one deal in 2013, for a Russian vendor, Inversia. StreamPay took its Bank 21 Century core system. This represented the first foray of this predominantly domestic vendor into the Baltic territories. In Estonia, Swedish banks began expanding in the late


1990s following the fall of communism. Swedbank bought a stake in Hansabank in 1998 and took full control in 2005. SEB gained control of Estonia’s Eesti Uhispank in 2000. As at 31 December 2012, there were eight credit institutions operating in Estonia, five of which were under the control of foreign owners, and eight branches of foreign banks. The aggregate market share of Swedbank, SEB, Nordea and Danske, measured by total assets, amounted to 87 per cent. In 2010, Forbis scooped Estonia’s only core banking deal, at BigBank, with – again – nothing either side of this.


Belarus


In Belarus there has been an impetus for change stemming from the strategy of the central bank, the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus, which has been seeking to modernise the banking system, including moving banks from decentralised to centralised banking, and introducing international standards. One deal for Oracle with Flexcube in 2014 might reflect this drive. MTBank (Minsk Transit Bank) took the Forpost system


from Forbis back in 2006 and was still struggling to go live long after the original planned cut over date of August 2007. It did so eventually in 2010, reportedly at a considerable expense. Belarusbank hit an extremely difficult project with its SAP core banking project, having also signed in 2006. Such experiences play into the hands of the incumbents:


in Belarus, domestic suppliers, System Technologies and Softclub, are among a handful of dominant providers. However, in 2011, Belvnesheconombank (BelVEB), which is owned by VEB, Russia’s development bank, signed to upgrade from its legacy Equation platform to Misys’ newest version, Bankfusion Equation.


Market Dynamics Report www.ibsintelligence.com 161


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