The FINANCIAL — TBC Bank is implementing a new internet banking system. The process should be completed by the end of the first quarter.
“This will be a totally new development in the Georgian banking system,” Vakhtang Butskhrikidze, General Director of TBC Bank, told The FINANCIAL. “The new internet banking will be on a level of that of any Western banks. This will involve the implementation of new technological products. This will result in the Bank being closer to its clients.”
Q. How would you sum up the year 2011 for TBC Bank?
A. TBC Bank experienced significant increases in all banking sector directions in 2011. Financial data of the Bank reached maximal indicators in 2011. Demand for loans as well as deposits grew in both retail and corporate sectors.
Financial Times Group and its magazine The Banker named TBC Bank the Best Bank of the Year in Georgia. Magazine Euromoney also granted the status of Best Bank of the Year in Georgia to TBC Bank.
International rating agency Fitch Ratings improved the Sustainability rating of TBC Bank from B- up to B+.
TBC Bank is the “Best Georgian Bank by Monetary Transfers” according to the data of Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank as well.
Our main challenge in 2011 was the global financial crisis which we successfully overcame. Due to this crisis, it was quite tough for us to attract resources from foreign markets; therefore we were mainly oriented on local deposits. In my opinion this was the best decision considering the situation.
The Bank awarded 1.3 million GEL worth of Smart points to the members of Smart Club.
We implemented new products including Prime Card and I-Card.
Q. What do you consider the main achievement of TBC Bank to have been in 2011?
A. One of the main achievements of TBC Bank was purchasing a controlling stake of Bank Constanta in the beginning of 2011. Constanta is the fastest growing financial institute in Georgia. As a result we hold a strong position in the market of crediting micro business. This was quite new for us, as TBC Bank was not actively present in this market before.
As a result Constanta increased its banking assets by 78 percent and credit portfolio – by 71 percent.
2011 was a success for TBC Bank’s other subsidiary companies including TBC Leasing. TBC Leasing increased its market share by 18.7 percent in 2011.
Q. How much were the Bank’s assets in 2011? Please compare them to 2010.
A. The Bank’s assets grew by 974 million GEL in 2011 and reached 3,224 million GEL.
Q. What was the loan portfolio in 2011 in comparison to that in 2010?
A. The loan portfolio increased by 530 million GEL. The total amount of the loan portfolio reached 2 billion GEL by the end of 2011.
Q. What was the portfolio of deposits in 2011? Please compare it to that of 2010.
A. TBC is continuing to hold the biggest share of the deposit market in Georgia. 34 percent of retail deposits are located in TBC Bank.
The portfolio of deposits grew by 615 million GEL and amounted to 1,970 million GEL by the end of 2011.
Such a huge increase was the result of being a stable and trustworthy bank, as well as the successful marketing campaigns of the Bank including “Find USD 10,000” and “Win USD 20,000”. These campaigns were quite successful at the international advertisement festivals Eurobest Advertising Festival, Popok and Eurobest 2011, where TBC Bank won gold and silver medals.
As a result of the successful campaigns, the portfolio of retail deposits exceeded 1 billion GEL.
Q. TBC Bank is represented in Azerbaijan by TBC Credit. How does Azerbaijan’s banking sector differ from Georgia’s?
A. TBC Credit is TBC Bank’s subsidiary company, which experienced quite important growth in 2011. Its banking assets increased by 35 percent, while its credit portfolio grew by 31 percent.
The financial crisis did not influence Azerbaijan’s economy much as the country is an exporter and has significant income from oil.
The banking sector in Azerbaijan will grow. However as opposed to in Georgia where the banking sector is presented by local as well as international banks, and there is high competition, in Azerbaijan we see more local banks while international institutions are not present there.
Q. TBC Bank had planned to open its first representative office in Tel Aviv, Israel. How has this plan developed?
A. TBC Bank is already represented in Israel by TBC Invest. Its deposit portfolio grew by 15 million USD in 2011.
Q. What novelties does TBC Bank promise its clients?
A. Our main focus will be on our new strategy in 2012. By offering new products we try to satisfy the increased requirements of our clients and provide them with maximum comfort by using our products and services. We started implementing this strategy in 2011. We think that this should positively affect the operating of the Bank. TBC Bank will become outstanding in this direction in the whole Caucasus region as well.
Q. According to the latest research on SMEs in the country, one of their main problems is affording loans. Does TBC Bank plan to ease loan procedures?
A. Due to global tendencies we have always wanted to work intensively in the sector of micro business. This is a very interesting and important sphere and has huge potential for future development. Therefore we decided to purchase an 80 percent stake of commercial bank Constanta. With this institute we plan to become the leading bank in terms of financing micro business over the period of the next three years.
Q. Which tools does TBC Bank use to increase its client satisfaction rate?
A. One of the main goals of TBC Bank is to improve the quality of service and increase the satisfaction rate of our clients.
One of the challenges is to manage getting fast, operative and effective decisions in non-standard situations. TBC Bank tries to offer simplified products to its customers. Nowadays our employees spend 70-80 percent of their time on providing technical services and only 20-30 percent on achieving client satisfaction. Fundamental changes are necessary in this direction. The technical side of the service should be simplified, so as to require only 30 percent of our employees’ time. As a result 50-70 percent of time would be spent on creating a high client satisfaction rate. These reforms have been planned with the help of world prominent consulting company McKinsey. These changes are based on the results of a survey conducted with McKinsey and its recommendations.
Q. In your opinion what will the main challenge for TBC Bank be in 2012?
A. One of the challenges of 2012 will be attracting commercial resources from Europe. This year they will be expensive and less effective. Therefore growth and development of the banking sector will be more dependent on local deposits. At the same time, resources received from other international financial institutions will be limited and purposeful. Despite this challenge, we plan 15-20 percent growth of the banking sector. If the situation will somehow improve in Europe, growth will be bigger.
Q. How many branches and ATMs did TBC Bank open in 2011?
A. TBC Bank opened five new branches in 2011- in Tbilisi, Rustavi, Poti and Kutaisi.19 new ATMs were added to the chain as well.
Q. How important is charity to the Bank?
A. Charity is an essential part of TBC Bank. We have given 1. 03 million GEL to charity. TBC Bank has also implemented several huge social projects through which charity has been accomplished.
Q. How intensively does TBC Bank use social networks?
A. We have created the biggest social media project in the Georgian banking sector. At present 45 percent of social media users also use TBC Bank’s Facebook pages.