Retail business is a traditional priority for Alfa-Bank. At the end of 2009 the total balance on individuals` accounts with Russian banks was USD 247.5 billion, including USD 207 billion of term deposits. At that time, term deposits received from individuals in Alfa-Bank amounted to USD 4.037 million. If we exclude the funds obtained via the integration of Severnaya Kazna bank, Alfa-Bank's market share in terms of cumulative balances grew from 1.35% to 1.75%. At the beginning of 2009, Alfa-Bank ranked number seven in Russia in terms of funds attracted from individuals. By the end of the year it had moved into sixth place, which we view as a remarkable achievement. During the reporting year, the total number of customers using Alfa-Bank's settlement and deposit services increased 19% (up to 2.571.000). The total retail customer base across all operating segments increased 27% to 3.895.000 in 2009. This combined with a 5% reduction in staff resulted in a substantial improvement in the efficiently of the Retail Bank.
The crisis sparked an increase in the popularity of credit cards among customers, increasing Alfa-Bank's credit card portfolio from USD 179 million to USD 218 million, while the number of customers using credit cards increased from 154.000 to 186.000. Alfa-Bank will continue to focus on this product in 2010.
The consumer lending segment went through some fundamental changes in 2009. This naturally impacted on the segment's performance in 2009: the average monthly volume of loans extended by Alfa-Bank increased 70%, while the total number of loans issued throughout the year increased 70% (from 631/000 loans in 2009 to 1.056.000 loans in 2009).
Alfa-Bank is currently actively developing consumer lending in the regions, as it is the easiest and most accessible form of credit for individuals during an economic downturn.