Two Polish regional banks owned by Allied Irish Bank (AIB) are to merge to create the fifth-biggest bank in Poland in terms of assets, the banks announced on Tuesday.
Wielkopolski Bank Kredytowy (WBK) and Bank Zachodny will merge into Bank Zachodny WBK with assets of 21.2 billion zlotys (€5.33 billion, $4.65 billion), they said.
Under an agreement signed by the banks, the merger will take effect in May 2001, said WBK President Jacek Ksen, who is to become the director of the new bank.
The two banks plan a major retail expansion, opening 19 new branches in Warsaw alone by the end of next year, and 530 across Poland by the end of 2002.
The banks plan to invest $100 million (€114 million) in a new information technology system, according to the press release.
AIB will own 70 percent of the capital of Bank Zachodny WBK, with the rest listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, where it will be the eighth-largest company in terms of market capitalization. – (AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000