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Ukrainian PrivatBank Plans to Activate Pension Direction in Georgia by 2013

Published: December 10, 2012 | 2:02 pm
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CEO: “We do have a reach experience of dealing with pensioners and would be happy to serve Georgian pensioners.”


Ukrainian PrivatBank looks at 2013 with new plans, among which is expansion to Georgia’s pension field. The COMMERCIAL TIMES interviewed Bogdan Lesiuk, CEO of PrivatBank regarding the banks development during the past few years and the future outlook.

- In July, 2007 a Ukrainian leading bank, PrivatBank purchased a 75% shareholding of the Taobank. How would you assess the bank’s development during the past 5 years?

- PrivatBank is not one of the largest banks in Ukraine, but it is the leader of the sector during the past 8 years already. During these 5 years we became a 100% owners of Taobank, which was first renamed as TaoPrivatBank and after the second rebranding it’s called PrivatBank.

As for development, we like thus market economy. We’re bringing new technologies and innovations in 11 other countries besides Georgia.

- How profitable has the investment appeared to be for the Ukrainian side?

- Investing in banking sector is a long-term process. We did not have an expectation to get profit shortly. Banking is a very scrupulous business.

- How would you assess the development of Georgia’s banking sector?

- Georgia’s banking sector is very interesting as it is represented by shareholders from different countries and they bring along various material values with them. We see our niche in this market and a string argument to think so.

On the other side, Georgian banking sector is monopolized. We would be happy to come up with certain suggestions. First suggestion would be to let us become one of the banks among the 19-member list serving pensioners. We do have a reach experience of dealing with pensioners and would be happy to serve Georgian pensioners.

- How affordable are interest rates on loans at PrivatBank?

- Interest loans with us are as affordable as at other banks in Georgia. When consumers buy certain products PrivarBank is not the one with distinguished offers.

- What niche does the bank occupy in Georgia?

- PrivarBank is a universal bank targeted at retail market mostly. We’re on the top 3 list of innovators. According to different indicators, we share fifth, sixth or seventh positions with other banks operating in the country. It’s difficult to name a concrete niche of a bank in accordance with one mainstream leading indicator.

-  Your Strawberry Card was named among the most troublesome cards by geirgianbanks.com internet portal. What’s your comment?

- I am not aware of the portal. Answer is simple. We’re working in a questioning-answering regime with our consumers who say they see no difficulty about the Strawberry Card; just on the contrary, they say the card is rather comfortable.

Soon PrivarBank will offer a new product focused on a wide service platform.

- Do your cards have any advantages abroad?

- We’re represented not only in CIS, but in 12 different countries. Mostly, PrivarBank is oriented at the EU area. We were the pioneers in presenting production via mobile phones. We’re continuing this direction through Smartphones and Androids and we’re bringing it on the local market as well.

- Do you plan to launch new banking products or a New Year campaign?

- At PrivarBank we’re constantly looking for novelties, the bank frequently updates its products. Currently, news with us is a new pension card.

- PrivatBank decreased its loss indicator in the first quarter 2011, however, the final figure was still negative. What’s the situation like this year?

- If we look at 2011, that year the bank closed positively and are looking forwards with optimism a year and a half later. We’re not fully satisfied with 2012 results. Despite obstacles, the bank managed to release new products, optimized expenditures, restructured the system, developed terminal network, and opened service centers at new locations. What is most important we managed to completely change the service system.

- What’s the outlook of PrivatBank for 2013?

- We have concrete investment plans for 2013. PrivatBank is committed to establish itself in the pension service field. Also, we’re motivated to continue working on broadening the variety of our products. It’s our goal to prove that PrivatBank is an innovative bank and we’re putting a big effort in it. We take a serious care of the qualification of our personnel. The bank shares international standards. PrivatBank is willing to expand to new fields, with no significant changes to be followed though.


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