The bank of the future is already in our hands

Change is an important condition for us to become better

Teodora Petkova, Mrs. Economy 2019:

The bank of the future is already in our hands
Автор: Tatyana Yavasheva

Mrs. Petkova, what does it feel like to hold the “Fisherman and the goldfish” statuette?

On the one hand, it is heavy because it is undoubtedly associated with responsibility while having a strong positive emotional charge, as well. The statuette itself is valuable and meaningful, since the fish is a symbol of dignity. This award is a recognition that the entire team of UniCredit Bulbank is doing the right thing and supporting the country's business, its investment ideas and projects with a cause. I believe that good things must be done and that business must be done in an honourable way.

The word responsibility resonated during your acceptance speech at the awards. Why is it so important to you?

Because it is good to know that on a personal, professional, corporate and public level, behind every word and action lies responsibility for the consequences. I want to set an example for my 6-year-old son Alexander, for my colleagues at the company I manage. I want and I believe in the values of ethics and respect on which our company builds its business.

Lately, we have been talking a lot about digital transformation, technology and rapid change. What's happening in the world of money?

For us, digitalization and innovation are about simplification, making processes much faster, more transparent and adaptable to the changing customer expectations. Technology allows us to automate part of the processes and let the robots do most of the operations while we humans do what we do best - manage trust and customer expectations. And because, we banks manage trust when it comes to money – it is in a safe place.

What would you like to say to UniCredit Bulbank employees beyond the applause on stage?

I would like to thank everyone who is dedicated and positive. I’d also like thank all those who sometimes complain as they give us an inner incentive to improve. I would like to thank everyone who give their all to do the best. UniCredit Bulbank is successful because our managerial styles complement, the qualities of people in different positions complement, as well. Together we are an incredible team.

It is claimed that fintech companies will displace traditional banks. What is it that you do to prevent this from happening?

It’s a good occasion to recall a certain fairy tale. Alice in Wonderland says we have to run to stay in one place, and we have to run twice as fast to move forward. For us fintech companies are a positive phenomenon that make us run faster.

Where are you running to? Where are you taking us?

We are running towards the client. Many of us already hold the bank of the future in our hands, as it is in our phones. The bank of the future will be an invisible, transparent and easy-to-work with partner who adapts to our specific needs.

It's been 30 years in transition. If you have to describe them as a fairy tale ...

"Maybe it will be the tale of Pinocchio - it has obstacles, wisdom and lessons, but it has a happy ending." I'm glad the transition has come. We have competition, corporate values, business with a cause. However, we cannot talk about transition as something that has passed. It will never end because we will change constantly. There is a saying that success does not come by chance, but comes through change. Therefore, change is an important condition for us to become better. But constant change often creates stress in organizations. That is why it is important to change the business, but for the fundamentals to remain stable. And the solid foundations are to do an honest business based on ethics and respect.

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