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Alior Bank to downsize branch network; invest $100m in technology

Poland's Alior Bank has unveiled plans to trim its branch network and invest in technology in response to the rise of digital banking channels.

The bank currently has a network of 324 branches and 786 franchise outlets. It expects to reduce this figure to 200 branches and 680 franchise outlets by 2020. The remaining branches will be upgraded and equipped with mobile tools.

The bank also plans to invest PLN400m ($100.4m) in IT and innovation projects by 2020, which is on top of its existing spend in IT systems and infrastructure.

Alior said that it is currently working to deploy face and voice biometrics and artificial intelligence technologies, and will also use cloud-based solutions, blockchain and open-API banking / PSD2 tools.

The bank has also set a target of generating 40% of the total sales of key products through digital channels in the next three years.

Alior Bank CEO Wojciech Sobieraj said: “To face the technological revolution in the banking industry, the changing expectations of clients, and the competition, Alior Bank must transform from a financial firm with a strong IT angle into a fin-tech with a banking licence.

“This way, Alior Bank will maintain customer satisfaction, improve effectiveness, continue dynamic business growth and provide a satisfying return on equity to the shareholders.”

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