The Board of Directors of Komerční banka has appointed Dr Vedlich as the new ombudsman for KB's clients with effect from 7 December 2009. The new ombudsman will continue to tackle contentious issues between Komerční banka and its clients - individuals; in 2004, Professor Vojtěch Cepl was the very first ombudsman of a private financial institution in the Czech Republic to start this service.

"At Komerční banka, the ombudsman addresses contentious issues between the bank and its clients solely as the third instance when the bank did not resolve the case to the client's satisfaction earlier. The ombudsman has an independent position, and decides with a sense of justice and relying on his deep-rooted legal and ethical awareness. I am confident that Dr Vedlich meets these requirements ideally," says Henri Bonnet, Komerční banka Chairman and CEO.

Joseph Franciscus Vedlich (1946) has extensive knowledge and experience in banking and legislation. Having graduated from the Faculty of Law of the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) in 1980, he later studied for his doctorate at Charles University in Prague. Dr Vedlich has mainly associated his professional career with PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he ended his active professional career in the position director of financial services. During his 22 years with the company, he was responsible for a number of major projects in Central and Eastern Europe and in Central Asia. His key position within the PricewaterhouseCoopers group is borne out by the fact that after 1989, he contributed to the opening and management of the group's offices in Russia, the Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan.

Dr Vedlich is a member of the Société suisse des juristes. He has Czech and Swiss citizenship, and has been a speaker at many conferences and workshops dedicated to banking. Amongst other things, he has contributed to the Czech edition of several international books on banking and financial services. He is fluent in Czech, French and English and has a good command of German and Russian.

Komerční banka's ombudsman helps to resolve disputes with the bank's clients - individuals, with a view to reaching amicable settlement. As part of the conciliation procedure, Komerční banka undertakes to respect his decisions. The position of ombudsman is part of the group of Société Générale's ombudsmen headed by Mrs Christiane Scrivener, with whom the Czech ombudsman cooperates very closely.

Komerční banka is one of the best run universal banks in Central Europe. It provides comprehensive services to clients in the areas of retail, corporate, and investment banking. The Komerční banka Group's 8,843 employees serve more than 2.7 milion clients, who can use an extensive network of 398 points of sale throughout the country. Komerční banka currently operates 682 ATMs and more than 972,000 of its clients use one of direct banking channels.

Komerční banka is part of the Société Générale Group, one of the largest banking groups in the euro zone (in terms of market capitalisation), whose 163,000 employees serve more than 30 million individual clients worldwide.