Mr. Sukiasyan, today is ARMECONOMBANK OJSC’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders, which means that the results of 2017 have already been summarized. How was the previous year for the Bank?
2017 was another year of progress for the Bank. The Bank’s management and the personnel ensured the program objectives both from quantitative and qualitative point of view. For example, currently the Bank has 50 branches, which allow us to provide effective customer service throughout RA territory and Artsakh. I assure you that this number is not final; in case of necessity the Bank will promptly respond to the demand emerged and will open new branches.
I would like to point out several other indicators. Compared with the results of the previous year, the Bank’s assets have increased by 30,5%, the deposits to customers grew by 37,3% and income has increased by more than 2,5 times. Taking into account the severe competition in the RA banking system these are rather impressive results, which, anyway, does not mean that the Bank is fully satisfied with the aforementioned achievements.
Furthermore, we plan to pay dividends to our shareholders in this year too. This has already become a good tradition at the Bank.
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has had a participation in the Bank’s capital since 2014. Do you intend to attract other international financial institutions as shareholders?
We highly appreciate the international shareholder’s participation, as it promotes the efficient use of international banking practices in the Bank’s activities. Therefore, yes, we plan to do so, but I would prefer not to provide the details, as the negotiations have not ended yet. I would like to mention that we are currently negotiating with one of the most reputable international financial-credit organizations.
Furthermore, we have envisaged some changes in the structure of the Board by attracting a member having decade’s experience of a manager in the biggest commercial banks abroad, who is going to coordinate the extension of the Bank’s international relations.
Today, high technologies are developing with explosive speed and without the investment of these technologies, the Bank can’t be competitive in the market. How does the Bank use these newest technological tools?
We, doubtlessly, pay great attention to the up-to-date technologies. For example, in 2017 ‘’NANO’’ branch with round-the-clock automatic service was launched, where the presence of employees is not required in order to make transactions. In the near future, the ‘’Mobile Banking’’ system will start to function, which will allow our customers to execute various transactions through their mobile phones without visiting the bank or spending time in front of the computer.
The world is rapidly developing. Taking into account the rapidly increasing competition, we need to move with the times using latest technologies and training our specialists to succeed and strengthen our position in the system.
Mr. Sukiasyan, our country has experienced some changes. How do you see the further development of banking system in Armenia?
We, indeed, live in a new reality. Currently, due to the political changes there are more opportunities for foreign investments. The struggle against monopolies, the prevention of corruption risks, as well as creation of favorable conditions for businessmen make lots of people think of starting their own businesses or developing and expending the existing ones. The changes in the country, surely, will promote the growth of economic activity, and as you know, the activity of the real sector, inevitably, leads to the increase of banking system activity.