Euromoney, an influential UK-based business magazine, has named Alfa-Bank CEE’s Best Bank for SMEs 2019. The Bank was awarded for the launch in 2018-2019 of innovative credit services for small and medium-sized businesses, a significant growth in lending and increase in clientele, and an effective business model in the SME segment.
“Alfa-Bank pioneered the development of SME banking in Russia and has maintained its edge despite increasing competition from traditional and challenger banks. It has been in the forefront of offering ancillary services for smaller businesses but its main competitive advantage remains the ability to provide rapid access to credit with effective risk management through a combination of in-depth segment expertise and sophisticated scoring models”, Euromoney’s experts say.
“We are pleased that our services for SMEs have been recognized the best among banks operating in Central and Eastern Europe. Alfa-Bank has formed a new standard of banking services for small and medium-sized businesses, providing the fastest, most convenient and secure financial solutions for SME clients. The use of digital technologies allows us to create the best client services on the market, which strengthens our competitive position and ensures the growth of market share and business profitability. Our services are available 24/7 and are based on the principle of “a two-click operation”, whether it be an account opening or a loan application. This helps us win more clients, so our customer base is growing by 30% annually, and Alfa-Bank currently provides services to more than 450,000 Russian companies in the SME segment,” said Vladimir Verkhoshinskiy, CEO of Alfa-Bank.
In 2018-2019, Alfa-Bank introduced unique solutions in the field of information security, expanded the mobile banking functionality, transferring maximum daily banking operations to smartphones, and launched the issue of instant virtual B2B cards. Unique legal and compliance support services have appeared in the online bank for entrepreneurs and legal entities.
At the end of 2018, Alfa-Bank became the absolute leader among major Russian banks by the rate of increase in lending to small and medium-sized businesses (+ 101%).
In 2019, the Bank was the first in Russia to offer SME clients a full-fledged online banking service for stock exchange-model conversion transactions without using brokerage accounts.
Euromoney’s Awards for Excellence are recognized as the most significant and prestigious in the global banking industry.
This year Euromoney received almost 1,000 submissions from banks in an awards programme that covers 20 global awards, more than 50 regional awards, and best bank awards in close to 100 countries. A list of candidates is compiled for each country within the award program. Then Euromoney experts and analysts during 2 months investigate the activities of each bank, conduct a survey of national and foreign correspondent banks, on which results they make a short list. Choosing a winner, the jury assesses the bank’s position on the market, its new products, the quality of management, development dynamics, and the bank’s capital position.