Western Europe Is ‘Banking’ on Poland – New Everest Group Report

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White paper documents drivers behind Poland’s emergence as a prime destination for back- and middle-office banking services.

Banking on Poland for Complex BFSI Processes

Banking on Poland for Complex BFSI Processes

For Western European BFSI institutions, one of the primary attractions of the ‘girl next door’ is Poland’s highly skilled, multi-lingual workforce.

The powerhouse players in Western Europe’s banking industry have discovered that some of the best middle- and back-office banking services providers can be found in their own backyard.

According to Everest Group, an advisor to business leaders on the next generation of global services, Poland is evolving as an attractive location in the European region for complex Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) global services.

Everest Group explores the drivers behind Poland’s rise to dominance in BFSI global services in “Global Location Insights: Western Europe ‘Banking’ on Poland?”—a white paper published in collaboration with the Polish Association of Business Service Leaders (ABSL).

As documented in the white paper, the Polish BFSI global services sector—which includes both Global In-house Center (GIC) operators and service providers—is growing at an annual rate of 20 percent. The recent growth in headcount has been significant: some companies have reported doubling their headcount in the last couple of years, while others have steadily increased headcount by 200 to 400 employees a year.

“For Western European BFSI institutions, one of the primary attractions of the ‘girl next door’ is Poland’s highly skilled, multi-lingual workforce,” explains Sarah Burnett, Everest Group vice president. “This proves to be a critical asset, because these institutions increasingly require help in managing complex and judgement-intensive processes.”

In fact, according to H. Karthik, Everest Group partner, 52 percent of the BFSI processes delivered from major centres in Poland are complex. Examples include credit evaluation, verification and approval; dispute resolution; fraud management; fund accounting; risk and regulatory compliance; application and software development; and analytics.

The talent pool is strong in Poland for several reasons. First, Poland has a robust domestic BFSI sector; in Central and Eastern Europe, the Polish banking sector is second only to Russia in total assets value. Additionally, Poland is well served by universities and higher education institutions that attract multilingual students and graduates from other countries. Poland’s major cities also draw talent from other industries such as IT and analytics, and this talent is then assimilated into the BFSI industry.

Other factors contributing to Poland’s growth in delivering complex BFSI services to Western European institutions include the following:

  • Significant cost savings – Polish locations offer a significant cost arbitrage over Western European locations in United Kingdom, Germany and France.
  • Cultural fit – high cultural compatibility and social affinity with buyers and customers increases efficiency and decreases management workload.
  • Same-time/nearshore support – Western European financial centres enjoy the advantages of easy access and same-time business hours, which are particularly helpful for training, collaboration and trouble-shooting.
  • Attractive operating and business environment – Poland is politically and economically stable, and it has a solid utility infrastructure, a low crime rate and one of the lowest wage inflation rates among the top 10 global offshoring and nearshoring destinations.

In addition to offering an in-depth perspective on growth drivers, the Everest Group white paper discusses the challenges and outlook for Polish service delivery to the Western European BFSI sector. To request a copy of the white paper or interview the authors, please contact jennifer(at)cathey(dot)co.

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Quotes from Research Contributors

State Street
“Since establishing an initial operation in Kraków in 2007, State Street has experienced rapid growth and continuous evolution of both the scale and complexity of activities being performed here. A number of factors have combined to enable this; however, central to the success has been the quality and intellect of the staff we have been able to recruit as well as the unprecedented energy and enthusiasm with which they themselves seek personal self-development and advancement. We are committed to a strategy of further growth in Poland and optimising the local operation towards increased complexity and diversity of responsibilities.”

Credit Suisse
“The Credit Suisse Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Wroclaw, Poland, is one of bank’s largest offices in Europe. It is a key pillar of Credit Suisse’s offshoring approach within this region and leverages the bank’s global talent base. It also maximizes the efficient use of Credit Suisse’s resources. The CoE in Wroclaw provides services to the bank’s Private Banking, Investment Banking, Human Resources, Legal and Compliance, IT, Finance and Risk divisions around the world.

We offer a variety of career opportunities both for university graduates and for experienced candidates. Credit Suisse CoE Wroclaw hires not only economists or bankers but also IT specialists, mathematicians, lawyers, marketing specialists, graphic designers or office administration specialists. We provide opportunities for professional development through excellent training programs and offer internal mobility to help growing their career.”

About Everest Group
Everest Group, an advisor to business leaders on the next generation of global services, has a worldwide reputation for helping Global 1000 firms improve performance by optimising back- and middle-office business services. Through practical consulting, original research and industry resource services, Everest Group helps clients maximise value from delivery strategies, talent and sourcing models, technologies and management approaches. Visit research.everestgrp.com.

About ABSL
The Association of Business Service Leaders (ABSL) is the largest trade organization in the region of Central and Eastern Europe, bringing together major global investors in the sector of modern business services, including Accenture, arvato Services, Capgemini, Carlsberg, Geoban, Goldman Sachs, Google, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Infosys, JLL, MAN, Procter & Gamble, PwC, Shell, Sony, Thomson Reuters, UBS and Xerox. ABSL members conduct business in the areas of Shared Services Centers (SSC), Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Information Technology Outsourcing (ITO), and Research and Development (R&D). Visit http://www.absl.pl.

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Andrea Riffle
Everest Group
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