Societe Generale Expressbank is the winner in this year's contest for Bulgaria's "Bank of the Year", the Bank of the Year Association has announced.
Bulgaria's 14th annual Bank of the Year awards – first started in 1992 – were revealed at a news conference in Sofia on Wednesday in seven different categories, including the big "Bank of the Year" prize snatched by Societe Generale Expressbank.
UniCredit Bulbank, which landed the big prize last year, is now the winner in the "Client's Bank" 2010 category, while Citibank N.A. - Sofia branch has triumphed with the award for Best Bank Branch in Bulgaria 2010.
The Corporate Commercial Bank is the winner of the "Development Dynamics Award" 2010. DSK Bank has been awarded the prize for "Efficiency", and First Investment Bank has been granted the price for best "Market Share 2010" performance.
The award in the brand-new category of the Bulgarian Bank of the Year Association - "Secret Client's Prize 2010" has been won by Raiffeisenbank.
The Bank of the Year Association's founders feature a number of prominent Bulgarian professionals such as financier Andrey Pramov, Deloitte Bulgaria partner Silvia Peneva, Moore Stephens Bulgaria partner Stefan Nenov, the creator of the Bank of the Year prizes and long-time publisher of the economic daily "Pari" Valentin Panayotov, the top Bulgarian PR expert Maxim Behar, the economic secretary of the Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov, Ertan Kara.
The winners in the individual Bank of the Year categories are determined through the examination of a complex set of criteria and hard data provided by the Bulgarian National Bank by a number of experts including financier Andrey Pramov, the President of the Confederation of Employers and Industrialists in Bulgaria Ognyan Donev, the Chair of the Bulgarian Audit Office Prof. Valeri Dimitrov, the President of the Bulgarian Business Leaders Forum Maria Shishkova, the Director of the International Banking Institute Maria Georgieva, the CEO of the Burov Foundation Vladimir Tashkov, the Chair of Association of Industrial Capital Vasil Velev as well as HP executive Sasha Bezuhanova, and the above-mentioned Valentin Panayotov, Maxim Behar, Ertan Kara, Silvia Peneva.
The award in the "Client's Bank" 2010 category is the exception as it has been determined through an online vote. A total of more than 45 000 votes were cast in this year's campaign, up from some 36 000 last year, with the winner UniCredit Bulbank receiving close to 12 000 votes.
Bulgaria's 14th Bank of the Year awards are sponsored by Konica Minolta, the Doverie Pension Security Fund, Western Union, Kamor Auto, and DHL Express.
The official ceremony for the Bulgarian Bank of the Year 2010 awards is taking Wednesday night at the Sheraton Sofia Hotel Balkan, with the participation of Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov.
The holder of the prize for 2009 was UniCredit Bulbank, and for 2008 - United Bulgarian Bank. Banks awarded in previous years were as follows: 1991 – Bank for Agricultural Credit; 1992 – Bank for Agricultural Credit; 1993 – Bulgarian Post Bank; 2000 – Bulbank; 2002 – Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria; 2003 – Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria; 2004 – DSK Bank; 2005 – United Bulgarian Bank and DSK Bank; 2006 – PostBank; 2007 – Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria.