nual Regular General Meeting of shareholders was held today.
In his address, the Bank's Chairman, Mr G. Gontikas, pointed out that the first decade since the establishment of the Bank is nearing its end. He gave a summary picture of the main developments in the Bank's history, before concluding with a description of its present structure and prospects: "We started out as a small team in old offices belonging to the Latsis Group opposite here in Othonos St, where we continue to have our head office. We grew step-by-step, and, once the planned merger with Ergobank takes place within the next two months, we shall be the third largest commercial bank, with some 350 branches and more than 7,000 employees. This has been achieved thanks to our own internal growth, as well as through the absorption of other banks. Of course, our collaboration with Deutsche Bank, which began in 1998, will in future play an increasingly important part. Deutsche Bank bought 10 per cent of Eurobank's share capital, and subsequently a 10 per cent stake in Ergobank. The achievements of the last few years are due to the great support received by the Bank's management in the pursuit of its initiatives from our shareholders, as well as the hard work and devotion of our colleagues. They are also a result of our modern administrative structure within which the Bank's human resources have specific objectives corresponding to market needs, guided by and controlled from the centre. This structure enables the centre to be aware at all times of the development of business, risks, and new opportunities. Our orientation is customer-centred."
Referring to the most important events of the past year, Mr Gontikas described as first among these the integration of Ergobank into the EFG Bank Group. He added: "The union of the two banks will create a very strong banking institution in this country, which is destined to play a leading role in future developments.