Russian-owned VTB Bank (Armenia) and Business & Finance Consulting (BFC) company have successfully completed a two-year cooperation, VTB Bank (Armenia) press office told ARKA in a press release. According to it, a micro-crediting program has helped VTB Bank (Armenia) to move forward at the local market of small business financing.
The project was implemented under the auspices of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the technical support of BFC. During the project implementation from January 2009 to March 2011 a total of 1,233 loans totaling USD 13.6 million were extended. Compared with t2009 January the Bank’s lending to small and medium-sized businesses increased tenfold.
According to a press release, lending to small and medium businesses is one of the priorities of VTB Bank (Armenia). The Bank currently holds a leading position among commercial banks operating in the segment of small and medium-sized businesses.
Bank VTB (Armenia) CEO Valery Ovsyannikov was quoted as saying that the joint collaboration of the Bank and the BFC has allowed to quickly and successfully introduce a technology for lending to small and medium businesses.
“BFC has provided technical assistance in the implementation and development of such important aspects as the development of human resources, establishment of the office for lending to small and medium-sized businesses, development of micro-credit, market analysis and introduction of new loan products, as well as strengthening of risk control at the stage of review. We thank BFC for fruitful cooperation and support,” he said.
In turn, the founder and CEO of BFC Michael Kortenbusch highly appreciated the cooperation between the BFC and the Bank VTB (Armenia).
“Owning the largest branch network in Armenia, VTB Bank (Armenia) has enormous potential for further development in the area of lending to small and medium-sized businesses,” he said.
Kortenbusch added that currently the bank has all tools for effective development of the SME crediting division, as well as a stable and active business position in the financial market of Armenia, high-skilled specialists, a developed structure, a wide product range, a flexible system of work with customers, which is a pledge of active and successful development, he said.
In addition, BFC’s managing director manifested hope that the cooperation with VTB Group will continue in the future.
VTB Bank (Armenia) CJSC became a participant in the international VTB Group in April 2004. VTB Bank (JSC), the second largest bank in Russia, owns 100% of the shares of VTB Bank (Armenia). The Bank has traditionally ranked among the leaders of the banking system of Armenia based on a number of key indicators. The Bank now owns the largest branch network in the country—68 branches.
BFC is one of the leading consulting companies in the field of development finance, specializing in microfinance consulting and research activities in transition economies from Eastern Europe and Asia.
BFC was founded in 2003. The head office is in Zurich, Switzerland. BFC employs 50 full time staff in offices located in Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Russia, and Tajikistan. BFC focuses on providing assistance in the Newly Independent States (NIS) and Asia. Since its inception in 2003, BFC has successfully implemented more than 60 assignments in 33 countries.