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100th Anniversary of PKO Bank Polski
February 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of establishing PKO Bank Polski. The history of the bank started on 7 February 1919, when Józef Piłsudski, Chief of State, Ignacy Paderewski, Prime Minister, and Hubert Linde, Minister of Posts and Telegraphs, signed a decree under which the Postal Savings Bank (Pocztowa Kasa Oszczędności) was set up.
The most important tasks of PKO were, amongst others, to organise a savings system addressed to the broadest spectrum of society, purchase and sell state securities, and transfer funds across country borders. The bank’s operations quickly produced results and as early as 1938 it had already become the largest savings depositary in Poland.
Since its establishment, PKO has been actively involved in social and economic transformations in Poland, financing key investments of the Second Republic of Poland, including, but not limited to, the establishment of the port and city of Gdynia or the Central Industrial District (Centralny Okręg Przemysłowy). Such engagement in responding to major socio-economic challenges cannot also be overrated today.
Till today, the PKO brand remains the symbol of a bank to millions of Poles. PKO Bank Polski has constantly extended its business scale, with its skilful combination of client expectations and challenges of modern banking having strengthened its unchallenged position of a leader of the domestic banking sector. It is a strong and modern universal bank providing its services to individuals, small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as corporate and investment clients.
One of the key elements of the strategy “We support the development of Poland and Poles” pursued by PKO Bank Polski is digital transformation and increased innovativeness of banking services. The Bank’s operations provide an example of how technology may be at the service of man and enhance the development of the economy.
PKO Bank Polski sets the trends on the market. It engages in forward-looking projects as well as the fields and sectors of the future. One of its major achievements was the establishment of cooperation between the largest Polish banks, completed by creating the Polish Payment Standard, the BLIK system operator. As a result of the project, payments effected by means of a smartphone application are now common in Poland. PKO Bank Polski is a leader in mobile banking, with its IKO application performing best in the world according to user ratings. It was the first bank to adapt blockchain technology to confirm documents submitted electronically as authentic and unaltered.
The business model of the bank is closely bound up with dynamic digitalisation of social life, and PKO is, therefore, engaging in e-state development. One of the activities undertaken has been to allow customers to gain safe and easy access to the services of public administration through electronic banking and to engage in the National Cloud project. For one hundred years, PKO Bank Polski has been involved in projects improving the quality of everyday life of millions of Poles and preserving the historical memory and national identity.
The President of PKO Bank Polski Management Board