Treasury activity

Alior Bank has operated its Treasury activities in the following areas, among others:

  • spot foreign exchange (FX) and transactions to hedge against currency exchange risks;
  • interest rate instruments to ensure stable funding costs to its customers;
  • transactions to limit the consequences of commodity price volatility;
  • liquidity management – by selling products enabling the customers to deposit their surplus cash;
  • hedging Alior Bank against liquidity risk to meet the established limits and regulatory metrics;
  • managing Alior Bank’s currency and interest rate risk exposures through transactions in the interbank market;
  • management of commodity price change risk through transactions in commodity markets, management of the currency option portfolio risk under the established limits by entering into hedging and option transactions in the interbank market;
  • trading in Treasury bonds portfolio by buying and selling State Treasury bonds;
  • applying hedge accounting, i.e. hedging against interest rate risks resulting from banking activities by entering into transactions of exchange of interest streams (IRS, OIS) in the zloty and in foreign currencies.

Surpluses of the Bank’s liquid cash are mainly invested in Treasury bonds and Treasury bills denominated in the zloty and in foreign currencies, and in commercial papers issued by the NBP with a relatively short maturity. The Bank invests it surplus cash as part of liquidity management.

The rule of avoiding trading with financial instruments involving one’s own equity will be still a strategic way to protect ourselves against potential systemic risks, in times of restricted market liquidity. The Management Board intends to manage market risks so that to ensure Alior Bank’s equity at the current, secure level. Alior Bank has been an active player in the interbank market. It has provided liquidity for currency transactions for other professional market players which has allowed it to maintain its existing position in the interbank FX market. Alior Bank has been an NBP Money Market Dealer and participated in the provision of data for the quotation of POLONIA reference rates.

Dealing platforms

As part of its Treasury activities, Alior Bank has been selling its products through dealing platforms, and the revenue from that is posted either as business activity revenue or retail activity revenue, respectively.

Alior Bank has been the first bank in Central Europe to implement its own algo-trading system called Quasar, on which three currency platforms are based – Autodealing, eFX Trader and Kantor Walutowy.

Autodealing is a service available both to businesses and consumers directly in online banking. The platform allows them to enter into spot and forward currency exchange transactions on favourable terms, and establish deposits with high interest rates for any period up to one year. The currencies available under the Autodealing service include: PLN, EUR, USD, GBP, CHF, with additional currencies (SEK, NOK, CZK) available to BusinessPro banking users. As of 2019, Autodealing has been implemented in the new AIB Online Banking.

eFX Trader is a platform available from the online banking level, intended for the most demanding business customers. It allows for spot, forward deals and instructions with a price limit 24 hours a day 5 days per week for almost 70 currency pairs. Three types of instruction with a price limit are also available on the platform that enable automated transactions at a rate chosen by the customer. The platform stands out with its high liquidity and possibility for the customers to track the current situation in the currency market.

Kantor Walutowy (Currency Exchange Bureau) is the first online currency exchange bureau offered by a bank in the Polish market. The platform is intended both for consumers and for companies, and is available 24/7 upon logging in to Alior Bank’s Kantor Walutowy allows the customers to securely exchange currencies at attractive rates, as well as free domestic and international transfers of the currencies purchased on the platform.

In 2019, the currency exchange offering has been made more attractive by adding 9 new currencies such as Bulgarian lev (BGN), Mexican peso (MXN), Romanian leu (RON), South-African rand (ZAR) Thai baht (THB), Israeli new shekel (ILS), Hong-Kong dollar (HKD), Croatian kuna (HRK), Turkish lira (TRY).

In July, a new Kantor Walutowy (Currency Exchange Bureau) platform was implemented, whereby it gained a new look and was designed in such a way as to make the operation even more intuitive. The portal’s pages are fully responsive and adapt to the devices used by Customers. The dealing service has been also enhanced by adding new useful functionalities, such as: phone or e-mail transfers for all currencies, possibility of sending transfer requests, or easier sharing of payments between friends, e.g. for joint dinner or trip. In September, a mobile version for iOS and Android systems was launched, which has been developed from scratch by Alior Bank’s Teams, which provided us with its independent development.

The online Exchange Bureau offers three types of currency exchange orders, which allow customers to make deals at the best rate or cyclically on specific days of each month. In addition, consumers can order the multicurrency card, introduced in 2019, which enables payments in almost 160 currencies, including direct payments in 23 currencies available in the Kantor Walutowy.

Consumers may pay in and out money, free of charge, in Alior Bank’s branches which offer the cash service in PLN, EUR, USD, GBP. Cards of the Kantor Walutowy are fully supported by Google Pay, Apple Pay, Garmin Pay, Fitbit Pay, thus enabling customers to use contactless payments with devices supporting these payment systems. Customers of Alior Bank’s Kantor Walutowy can buy through it tourist insurance directly through online or mobile app. Customers have increasingly used Kantor Walutowy through mobile app. Almost 60% of logins come from the mobile app which is responsible for about 30% of all completed transactions. Also, business customers appreciate the capabilities of the exchange bureau, which is demonstrated by their number increasing by as much as 30% on the prior year.

In September, PSD2 Directive was implemented both in the online exchange bureau in Poland and in Romania. Since December, users of the multicurrency card have been able to use the Flight Delay Pass service free of charge. This services allows the card owner to use airport lounges with his or her companion if the plane is at least 120 minutes behind schedule. This is an exclusive service available so far for extra charge or reserved exclusively for holders of prestigious payment cards – since December it has been available to all holders of the Kantor Walutowy multi-currency card.

In 2019, the Bank has implemented a number of regulatory requirements for financial markets and guidelines of the European and national regulator. It has been modifying internal processes in terms of transparency and acting to the best interest of customers.

Equity investments

Alior Bank’s equity investments are presented in the table below. All securities where purchased using the Bank’s own funds:

  • Shares
  • trading securities bearing equity rights, admitted to public trading on WSE and NYSE;
  • trading securities bearing equity rights, not admitted to public trading.
  • Bonds: corporate bonds issued by domestic and foreign issuers.
  • Investment certificates: certificates of a “private equity” closed-end investment fund, and units of an open-ended investment fund.
  Balance as at 31/12/2019 Balance as at 31/12/2018
  Quantity Market / nominal nominal in PLN Quantity Market / nominal nominal in PLN
Shares/stocks 602 475 117 902 554 483 49 933
Quoted 456 094 52 493 408 101 26 997
Non-quoted 146 381 65 409 146 382 22 935
Bonds 877 988 106 437 914 903 164 388
Investment certificates 17 393 6 310 756 63