ONLY 35% OF BULGARIANS USE BANK SERVICES
Trust in banks is increasing. A proof of that is the credit activity of business and the population, as well as the higher number of deposits and saving accounts in commercial banks. A research of ProCredit Bank, however, shows that only 35% of the Bulgarian citizens use bank services. The reason could be obviously sought in the inadequate financial and bank culture of our countrymen and in the quality of bank services. For most Bulgarians the financial and credit institutions are something like black boxes in which money is circulated, but the people do not dare to communicate with them as they do not know their mechanism and do not understand their professional, specialized slang. Financial services in Bulgaria are still branded by formalism, bureaucracy and disinterestedness. Usually, the attending personnel does not consult the clients and does not answer their questions, and rather views customers as bores to get rid of. Financial services are additionally burdened by specific terminology which confuses the citizens still further and makes it difficult for them to orientate in their prices and advantages. Bankers, who are constantly competing in offering new products due to the increasing rivalry on the market, often forget that the person in front of the desk is not obliged to know the specific terminology or calculate the interest, and less so - the price of the service. Clients often do not even understand why they are offered a package of insurance, cards and other products. And they gather a mistaken impression they would better have no truck with banks. This is completely wrong, considering the fact that more than 80% of the citizens in the developed European countries are loyal clients to their respective banks for long years. Domestic credit institutions are already trying to find unconventional ways to financially educate the population. DSK Bank, for instance, has sponsored a national tour of the talents from the TV reality show Star Academy during which it is distributing Visa Electron debit cards to children and young people up to 24. The organizers hope to contribute to the creation of bank culture in youths in that way, and to teach them financial independence and skills to plan their expenses. Pro Credit bank's team has tried not only to understand the reasons for the low percentage of people using bank services, but to help for the increase of the number of banks clients. The Transparency campaign is aimed at making banking more available to the entrepreneurs from micro-, small-, and medium-sized business, which has traditionally been the financial institution's target group, says Emiliya Tsareva, Executive Director and Management Board member of ProCredit Bank. She specifies that even regular bank clients find it difficult already to orientate in the ocean of credits, deposits, and other financial offers. Transparency is aimed at helping people learn more about the bank services. And as credits and deposits are demanded most frequently, the bank has started its explanatory campaign with these two types of products. Our purpose is not to compare the terms in our bank with those in the other credit institutions, but to help people ask the right questions when they visit any of them, Ms. Tsareva underscored.