EBRD SME lending project successfully completed in AgroInvestBank

In December 2011, the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) lending project supported by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) was successfully completed in AgroInvestBank. Technical assistance within the project’s framework was provided by the Swiss consulting company Business & Finance Consulting (BFC). “We are grateful to EBRD for providing the opportunity to develop SME lending in the broad branch network of our Bank. Currently this is one of AgroInvestBank’s business priorities”, mentioned the Bank’s project coordinator, Deputy Head of the Corporate Banking, Khurshed Odinayev.

During project implementation, the Bank’s experts adopted new approaches to organizing efficient lending processes, new technologies and procedures were developed. Also, trainings and seminars were conducted for loan officers, regional managers and internal trainers. The purpose of these trainings and seminars was to improve SME client service and to reduce the risks inherent to working with this client segment. Now that the project is complete, the Bank is fully prepared to apply the experience gathered throughout, and work with SME clients independently. “Looking back over the past two years, we can confidently say that the changes that have occurred in AgroInvestBank during project implementation reflect progress. BFC mentions excellent project support on AgroInvestBank’s part and expresses gratitude to the Bank’s management and project coordinators for effective cooperation,” said Maik Iwanowski, bank adviser and project leader from BFC.

EBRD is one of the key partners of AgroInvestBank in many joint projects. This creates a platform for effective development of the Bank, and increases its rating in Tajikistan’s banking sector.

Background Information:

EBRD has been operating in Tajikistan since December 1996, having made investments of over million in the country’s economy. EBRD investments into the financial sector amount to million.

In 2008, EBRD’s Management Board has approved a new financial sector support program for Tajikistan. SME lending development is among the key tasks of the program. The program allocates up to million to the development of financial sector of the country. Within the program’s framework, partner banks receive technical assistance for the development of SME lending.

BFC is one of the leading consulting companies in development finance, specializing in providing consulting services for SME lending in the emerging market countries of Eastern Europe and Asia.

BFC was established in 2003. The company’s Head Office is located in Zurich, Switzerland. BFC staff consists of 53 employees working in offices located in Moldova, Georgia, Russia and Tajikistan.