The FINANCIAL — Business loans, consumer loans and deposits are the most in-demand products available at Georgian banks. It is the flexibility of the deposit that most attracts Georgian customers, while a lower interest rate is the main determiner for loan borrowers.
The net profit of Georgia’s banking sector rose to 323 million GEL in 2011, up from the 156.3 million GEL posted a year earlier, according to the Georgian central bank. There were 19 banks operating in Georgia during the reported period with their total assets increasing to 12.7 billion GEL by the end of 2011, according to the National Bank of Georgia (NBG).
Total lending volume reached 7.7 billion GEL by the end of the year, up from 6.3 billion GEL at the end of 2010, according to the central bank.
As of the second half of 2011 Georgia has been leading in the region in terms of the number of ATMs, POS terminals and bank cards that it has. The number of POS terminals in the country totalled 10,286 units, ATM stations – 1,512, and bank cards – about three million.
The total volume of deposits attracted by commercial banks in 2011 reached 7,206,344 thousand which is twice more than in the previous year. In 2010 the volume of deposits in the national currency was 3,709,251 thousand GEL. The volume of deposits in foreign currencies has also increased. The volume of deposits in a foreign currency is 6,731,813 thousand, while in 2010 it was 4,449,924 thousand.
Bank of Georgia — In 2011 the net loan book of Bank of Georgia increased by 435.4 million GEL reaching 2,635.4 million GEL in total.
“Our consumer loan and SMS loan are the most popular credit products at Bank of Georgia,” said Khatuna Kakabadze, News Coverage Manager of the Branding Department at Bank of Georgia. “There is huge demand for American Express credit cards. By the end of 2011 we had issued almost 100,000 AmEx cards,” she noted.
In 2011 the deposit portfolio of Bank of Georgia’s customers reached 2,545.3 million GEL.
“The most popular deposit products are our Term and On-call deposits,” Kakabadze said.
TBC Bank — The TBC Prime Card is the most popular credit product of TBC Bank.
“TBC Prime Card is unique because it suits all users’ individual demands,” said Maia Dzirkvelishvili, Head of the Public Relations department at TBC Bank.
“Users of this product are allowed to take out a loan with a zero interest rate for three months. Customers can choose the design of their card from the TBC photo gallery or use one of their own photos. Cardholders also choose the tariffs that suit them: Prime Shop – if customers prefer to pay by card with merchants, and Prime Cash – for those who prefer to withdraw money,” Dzirkvelishvili told The FINANCIAL.
“To get a TBC Prime Card customers have to be a citizen of Georgia, be at least 20 years old and have a minimum salary of 400 GEL for a VISA Classic, or 1,000 GEL for the Visa Gold,” Dzirkvelishvili explained.
After the end of the three month zero interest rate period, credit card holders can benefit from a privileged period of 55 days with a low interest rate. Cardholders are offered discounts at different shops, beauty salons and sports and health centres in Georgia. TBC Prime Card holders are also able to collect Smart points.
“TBC Prime Card constantly presents new offers to its holders. At present we are offering all cardholders the chance to participate in a prize draw. They could be eligible to win a tour package for two. Five such prizes are available: one to the Venice carnival in Italy; one to the final match at the European Championship in Ukraine; the Monaco formula 1 grand prix in Monaco; Rotterdam’s north sea jazz festival in Holland; and attendance at a George Michael concert in France,” Dzirkvelishvili revealed.
“Customers will automatically get a ticket for the prize draw after putting through a transaction via POS terminal to the amount of 10 GEL, or after withdrawing 50 GEL from an ATM,” she said.
Dzirkvelishvili said that TBC Bank is maintaining its stable leadership on the deposits market. “This is due to the variety of our deposit products. As well as standard products we also offer special deposit products: Gold Deposit, Bonus Deposit, My Safe and others. Besides the competitive interest rates on deposits we regularly have special offers as well.”
“In 2011 we offered the interactive games “Find 10,000 USD” and “Win 20,000 USD”. More than 12,000 customers got involved in the campaign to win 10,000 USD. And more than 5,000 new deposit holders got involved in the intellectual campaign to win 20,000 USD. It is an integrated marketing campaign based on mythology. Deposit holders who get involved in the campaign become participants in history. At the end of the game we reveal the winners and participants get gifts from the Bank,” Dzirkvelishvili said.
“This integrated campaign was one distinguishing advantage of TBC Bank on the local market. The fact is proved by the financial figures that we reached by this campaign. At the same time this marketing campaign was awarded at different authorized international competitions.”
“We are continuing in this direction in 2012 too. We launched the special project Adventures with Edmond Abashidze. Our offers and prizes change every month,” she said.
Bank Republic, Societe Generale Group — The top five most popular current credit products at Bank Republic are: business loans, auto loans, instalment loans, credit cards and consumer loans.
The top five deposit products include the More Deposit, Megobari Deposit, Child Deposit, Cumulative Deposit and Term Deposit.
“Trading is one of the most dynamic and fastest-growing business sectors in Georgia. That is why banks prefer to finance this sector,” said Dea Gegelia, representative of Bank Republic.
The most popular credit products in 2011 were our mortgage loan, business loan, instalment loan, consumer loan and credit cards.
As for deposit products, the most popular in 2011 were the Megobari Deposit, Child Deposit, Cumulative Deposit, Term Deposit and Privileged Deposit.
Gegelia said that the majority of customers prefer to save money in USD. “The volume of deposits in GEL is increasing steadily however,” she added.
The most popular deposits are the More, Megobari and Cumulative deposits. “The terms of the More Deposit are unique. Upon opening an ordinary deposit, it is difficult to define in advance the rate of interest that will accrue to the deposit after its prolongation. In the event of opening a More Deposit customers will know in advance the rate by which the deposit’s interest will increase each time the deposit term is extended,” Gegelia said.
“While opening a three, six or twelve month More Deposit, customers can prolong its term several times and get more and more benefits each time it is extended. As for the Megobari and Cumulative deposits, they are attracting depositors with their flexibility. More than 50% of our depositors prefer these deposits,” Gegelia told The FINANCIAL.
JSC ProCredit Bank, Georgia — “The most highly demanded credit products at JSC ProCredit Bank in 2012 like in the previous year are business and agro credits. The number of credits issued by Procredit Bank Georgia in the two months of 2012 is approximately 5,300,” Natalia Bochorishvili, Coordinator of the Small Business Development division at ProCredit Bank, told The FINANCIAL.
Bochorishvili explained that ProCredit Bank gives out loans according to demand. As the largest demand is currently for financing trade, banks prefer to finance this sector. “This tendency is due to the development of the trade sector,” she said.
In 2011 ProCredit Bank issued 34,000 credits. 18,000 were business credits and 5,300 agro credits.
“The number of depositors at ProCredit Bank is more than 140,000. As of January 2012 the deposit portfolio has reached 215 million USD. As of February 2012 58% of our depositors are saving money in USD, 26% in GEL and 15% in EUR,” said Tamar Tkhelidze, Head of the Retail department at ProCredit Bank Georgia.
“The most popular deposit product with our customers is the Savings Account. 80% of our depositors choose this product. An advantage of the Savings Account is flexible access to money. Access to the deposit account is possible without physically visiting the bank, but via its Internet Banking service. The Savings Account deposit has a favourable method of interest accrual. The rate of interest is accrued on a daily account balance with capitalization once every three months. The conditions are: Initial minimum deposit requirement of 5 GEL, USD or EUR. The minimum amount on which the interest accrues is 5 GEL, USD, or EUR. The maximum amount on which the interest accrues is 200,000 GEL or 100,000 USD/EUR. The deposit time period is unlimited. The interest rate is accrued on the Savings Account at the end of every three-month period from the date of the deposit account. Interest will be added to the principal amount and then to the increased amount in the subsequent period,” Tkhelidze said.
ProCredit Bank has attracted 11,900 new depositors in 2012 as of March 27.
“The interest rates on deposits vary according to the type of the deposit, terms and currency. The interest rate on a termed deposit for 24 months in the national currency is 13%, and in USD and EUR – 8.75%,” Tkhelidze said.