21 September 2020

“Companies and banks that are sufficiently capitalised will emerge well from the Covid-19 crisis”, said Olivier Khayat, Co-CEO of UniCredit’s Western Europe Commercial Banking division, in an interview with the Austrian daily Salzburger Nachrichten

2:00 Min

On the central issue of digitalisation in the financial sector, which is experiencing a further boost from the Covid-19 crisis, Khayat remarked “UniCredit is not a FinTech, we are a bank, and so we are more available to our customers. There are three ways to contact a bank – through the branch, through the call center and through digital channels.”


“We offer all of these options in combination, meaning we are more receptive to our customers’ needs. Who is with the customer in the medium and long term, who helps them obtain a guaranteed loan, who is there if there are financial problems – a FinTech or a bank? It is the bank.”


“The banks are part of the solution in this crisis and help customers to get through the situation. At the same time, with such a deep slump in economic output, potential issues had to be anticipated and that is why we always pay attention to a high core capital ratio and the highest possible buffers,” he continued.


The core capital in Europe’s banking system has increased by €250 billion over the past five years, while the share of bad loans has been halved. “The banks are therefore much better equipped to deal with the challenges. The decisive factor is no longer liquidity, but equity capital – this applies to banks and companies alike,” he explained.