- Oct 28, 2015
Merger of Meritum Bank with Alior Bank Is Successfully Completed
The operational merger of Meritum Bank and Alior Bank took place on 26 October 2015, within less than four months of the legal merger and eight months after the acquisition of Meritum Bank was closed. It was the fastest and most efficient merger in the Polish banking sector, which confirms that Alior Bank is ready to integrate with further entities.
Following the merger with Meritum Bank, Alior Bank has strengthened its market position and laid robust foundations for dynamic growth and achievement of ambitious business targets. “In the duration of the merger, we ensured efficient operation of the bank and unlocked the potential of both institutions from the date of the legal merger. We added the best-in-class solutions from Meritum Bank and Alior Bank to the product offer in order to provide our clients and partners with more benefits. We also implemented other key projects including a new distribution model, CRM, as well as product and technology innovations which will enhance the competitiveness of the merged bank. We will be offering state-of-the-art products and top quality of services to nearly 3 million clients,” said Krzysztof Czuba, Alior Bank Vice President responsible for the Business Division. “The key challenges inherent in the merger of the banks were to strictly follow the timeline and to keep within the limits of the merger budget. Both objectives were fully achieved,” said Celina Waleśkiewicz, Director of the M&A Department.
The organisation of Alior Bank has been adjusted following the merger. In addition to Warsaw and Kraków, the bank has set up its third head office in Gdańsk. It will develop competences in client relations, consumer finance including lending, as well as partner and agent relations. Close co-operation with the Gdańsk-based IT centre will help to develop and implement new solutions and products for the entire bank, including its online and mobile banking system. Gdańsk is the location of large back-office and banking operations teams.
Following the merger and the implementation of the new distribution network model, Alior Bank currently has 311 branches, 12 business centres and approximately 530 partner outlets. The former partners of Meritum Bank now have access among others to a capital base which supports dynamic growth of sales, state-of-the-art IT systems, a broad product offer and attractive terms of co-operation. “This was the first large-scale merger of partner branches on the Polish market completed so successfully. We optimised the branch locations, harmonised the franchise systems, signed contracts with agents and rebranded the partner network, all within only six months,” said Mariusz Bielaszewski, Director of the Alternative Sales Department.
The merger was also unique in its fast and seamless staff integration based on single criteria for the teams of both banks. The best proof is that nearly one-fifth of all positions reporting to the Management Board of the merged bank and 15% of management positions are held by employees originating from Meritum Bank even though its headcount was nine times smaller. Former Meritum Bank employees were offered an attractive package of employee benefits and an extensive HR development programme at Alior Bank from the date of the legal merger. The bank also provided relocation packages to those who needed to move home due to new appointments. The integration was accompanied by a focused training programme involving 4,600 employees of the merged bank. “By ensuring dialogue and understanding throughout the merger, we have built an even stronger organisation which relies on the competences of the best people from the two banks. Alior Bank is a very special employer and offers fast career paths as well as opportunities to develop and implement unique individual projects. We are glad that these development opportunities and prospects have encouraged a vast majority of the top specialists from Meritum Bank to embark on a journey with Alior Bank,” said Małgorzata Bartler, Alior Bank Vice President responsible for the HR Division.
The merger of the banks’ technology infrastructure involved nearly a hundred IT officers from both organisations. In terms of technology, the merger not only included typical migration of data of nearly 340 thousand Meritum Bank clients but also the development of completely new solutions including new applications for the credit process and automation of back-office processes. “The merged bank operates a single central system and a single data warehouse. We intend to achieve the expected synergies including the elimination of duplicated functions within the technology infrastructure,” said Henryk Baniowski, Alior Bank CIO.
The operational merger of the banks has harmonised client service standards and the Meritum Bank brand has been discontinued. As a result, former Meritum Bank clients can now use Alior Bank’s online and mobile banking systems. They also have access to a broad range of services from the merged bank, including the payment system BLIK, services of the Brokerage House and the Online Currency Exchange. All Alior Bank clients can use convenient service from the merged network of branches and partner outlets located both in large cities and smaller towns. Cost and income synergies generated by the integration of Alior Bank and Meritum Bank will amount to PLN 35 million in 2016, compared to the total cost of the merger at PLN 50 million. The synergies are expected to reach PLN 198 million in 2015-2017.
Alior Bank is one of the most dynamically growing banks in Poland. The bank’s total assets stand at PLN 36.5 billion, making it the 13th biggest bank in Poland by balance-sheet total. Alior Bank has a market share of more than 3 percent. Its 3 million clients are efficiently served by more than 6,000 employees and Poland’s 4th biggest banking distribution network comprised of more than 850 locations. In addition, selected products and services of Alior Bank are offered at nearly 640 T-Mobile points of sale as part of the strategic alliance between the two partners. Since 2014, Alior Bank stock participates in WIG20, the large-cap index of the biggest and most liquid stocks listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (GPW).