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SOFIA (Bulgaria), February 8 (SeeNews) - All Bulgarian bank managers expect a large-scale consolidation in the country's banking sector over the next three years, a survey by global consultancy EY showed.
Last year, just 14% of the bank managers which took part in the survey said they expected large-scale consolidation in the banking system over a three year period, EY said in its annual survey Bulgarian Banking Barometer. The survey was conducted in the November-December period.
About half of the managers which participated in the 2018 survey expect mostly small-scale consolidation in Bulgarian banking sector in the next 12 months.
Twenty-one bank and five branches of foreign banks operate in Bulgaria. Nine banks have Bulgarian owners while the rest are owned by foreign banks or funds.
As many as 86% of the bankers expect the relative size of non-performing loans to shrink in the next 12 months, as half of them expect a significant decline.
Most of the banking sector managers, 63%, expect a slight improvement of the country's economy and 86% believe the banks they manage will improve its financial performance.
All of the surveyed banks are planning internal restructuring and optimisation of processes and customer service technologies. Many of them, 86%, include cybersecurity in their top priorities.
The bankers do not expect the transposition of the anti-money laundering directive to have any effect on their activity. However, competition in the sector of payment services is expected to be heavily impacted by the latest EU directive on payment services.
About 83% of the manager expect growth in cybersecurity expenses following the entry into force of the new general data privacy regulation (GDPR).