Photo from UNIAN
The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) says the number of bank branches in 2020 decreased by 868, while that of ATMs declined by 1,177.
That is according to the regulator's February review of the banking sector published on the NBU's website on February 17.
Read also National Bank becomes member of Global Network of Financial Innovations "In the fourth quarter [of 2020], state-run [Ukrainian] and foreign banks shut down 205 branches. Oschadbank was in the lead (94 branches), while Ukrgasbank opened the most of branches, that is seven. In 2020, the number of bank branches shrank by 868, most of all in Dnipropetrovsk region (71)," the report said.
The financial institutions continued lay-offs last year, their number decreased by 5,000 people.
In addition, the number of ATMs is "constantly declining," the NBU said. Last year, banks withdrew 1,175 ATMs from their networks.
The number of active payment cards was growing rapidly in the last two quarters of 2020. Private banks were in the lead in October-December 2020, the report said.
In 2020, Ukrainian-registered banks posted UAH 41.3 billion (US$1.5 billion) in net profit, which was 29% down from a record high of UAH 58.4 billion (US$2.1 billion) in 2019.
In 2020, some 65 banks out of 73 solvent banks turned out to be profitable, having posted UAH 47.7 billion (US$1.7 billion) in net profit, which overlapped eight banks' losses totaling UAH 6.4 billion (US$229.4 million).
- On March 17, 2020, the National Bank eased a number of requirements for banks to support them during the coronavirus-related quarantine, in particular, postponed stress testing and on-site inspections. However, the regulator continued monitoring financial sector performance, including its liquidity and the quality of loan portfolios.
- On March 26, 2020, the central bank postponed the requirement for banks to build up a capital cushion during economic growth to be used as compensation for possible losses in the event of an economic downturn.
- Also, the NBU approved a procedure for regular remote inspection of players on the non-banking financial services market.
- On February 10, 2021, the regulator resumed stress testing and sustainability evaluation of banks operating in the country after a break caused by the 2020 coronavirus-related crisis.