Eduard Nasretdinov, Avers Bank: ''We aim to increase the loan portfolio to SMEs threefold in 2017''

Eduard Nasretdinov, Avers Bank: ''We aim to increase the loan portfolio to SMEs threefold in 2017'' Photo: Maksim Platonov

As from 1 November 2016, the loan portfolio of Avers Bank PLC to clients-legal entities as against the beginning of the year has increased more than twofold and reached 47.6 billion rubles. The bank is actively increasing the volume of lending to enterprises. The head of department for corporate business of Avers Bank PLC Eduard Nasretdinov in the interview to Realnoe Vremya told about how the small, medium and large businesses, having the support of the bank, can timely react on the possibilities provided by the market and fulfil new projects.

Driver of the economy

Mr Nasretdinov, recently Avers Bank has constantly demonstrated an increase in lending volume of enterprises of the Republic. What is the volume of lending now? What sectors are represented here?

The loan portfolio of the bank to clients-legal entities as from 1 November 2016 has increased more than 2.5 time as against the beginning of the year – from 19.4 to 47.6 billion rubles. The bank development strategy aims at further increase of the portfolio in corporate direction. Avers Bank has everything required for this – good liquidity cushion and high level of sufficient capital.

The priority sectors for the bank are manufacturing companies, companies of telecommunications and IT, trade. Special significance have the representatives of SMEs of all sectors. After all, SMEs are to become a new driver for the economy.

This year, lending in Russia has significantly shrunken. Has Avers Bank slowed down lending of this sector of economy?

The loan portfolio of the bank to SMEs since the beginning of the year has increased twofold. We are only gathering momentum and we are not going to stop. By 2017, we are planning to increase the loan portfolio to SMEs threefold.

But it is quite difficult segment. Isn't the bank risking?

Yes, the segment is quite difficult. But it have quite a lot of stable operating and successfully developing enterprises. As for the largest enterprises of the Republic, they implement large investment projects. However, these projects have a high level of involvement of the state. But the SMEs are developing on the market economic bases. An owner of a small or medium business decides themselves whether to enter new projects, to start a new business. Avers Bank can be their financial partner. Building partnership with the clients, the bank very positively regards the development and expansion of a business by financially supporting the owners of the companies.

The priority sectors for the bank are manufacturing companies, companies of telecommunications and IT, trade

How responsible are the borrowers – representatives of SMEs – in relation to compliance with loan obligations?

Clients of Avers Bank, thank them a lot, are very responsible about the loan payments, they pay off them timely. In our turn, we try to regard our partners responsibly as well. If they need to expand their business, we are ready to consider the expansion of the limits on credit lines, limits on issuance of bank guarantees promptly.

Increasing the speed

What products and services can the entrepreneurs receive in Avers Bank?

We offer a full range of banking services to meet the needs of a business: from cash management and payment services, payroll programme, remote maintenance to bank guarantees and lending. By the way, up to 31 January 2017, we have the special discount for legal entities and private entrepreneurs for cash management and payment services ''Quick account in your favour!''. You can open a settlement account in a day. Clients also get a discount for enabling the system of remote banking services.

What loans are in demand the most by businesses?

More often, the businesses take loans to replenish working capital that allow the business to increase turnover.

We have loans for investment objectives. It is long-term: we are ready to issue a loan up to 5 year, individually – up to 7 years. The bank also can offer ''holidays'' for payment of principal amount of a loan for a period of investment phase of the project. Within the framework of a loan for investment objectives, it is possible to finance earlier investments expenditures, what helps to replenish the working capital, at the expense of which new projects are often financed at the initial stage.

Is this loan really in demand?

Less investments programmes have been realised lately. However, the interest in them has started to revert. Apparently, businesses adjusted to the current situation, remembered previous projects and stared to test the waters for its implementation. Business projects can vary in difficulty, for each of them Avers Bank can offer the most effective structure of financing.

For example, if an investment project requires a purchase of equipment of technologies abroad, Avers Bank offers crediting on the security of export-crediting agencies of products, also we can provide export-import contacts, maintenance of transactions certificates. The bank is competent in the settlement of account by letter of credit for foreign economic contracts and it has large experience in support of export-import transactions…

What parameters of a company's activities are taken into account when issuing a credit?

It is important to have positive credit history, a business must exist for at least a year. Of course, we consider the scope of activity of a potential borrower, its current turnover, the collateral for the loan. Depending on this, we propose limit amounts, loan terms. The interest rate on the loan is determined individually.

When granting an investment credit, we study a business plan, expected revenues and profit in the implementation of the project and choose the loan term and the repayment schedule. The interest rate is considered individually.

It should be noted that a detailed analysis of the client's business allows us to act as an independent financial advisor, one might say, an external auditor. As a result, the business owners can get not only best banking products but also build up financial flows of the company effectively.

When granting an investment credit, we study a business plan, expected revenues and profit in the implementation of the project and choose the loan term and the repayment schedule

One of our main advantages is an individual approach to each client. We do not trust the decision of the lending to computer programs, we prefer to develop it in dialogue with customers.

According to MSP Bank, the average interest rate for SMEs in Russia in 2016 amounted to 15.3 -16.6%. Were the rates of Avers Bank the Bank higher or lower?

The interest rates in Avers Bank are more attractive. We offer loans for replenishment of working capital at rates of 14% per annum, for more long-term loans for investment purposes — from 14.5%.

From settlement account to bank guarantees

Today, the bank guarantees are one of the most popular products on the market of financial services. In what cases are they used by bank customers?

Our customers use bank guarantees to participate in trade of state contracts, when they need a security guarantee, and after a winning in a competition — a guarantee of fulfillment of obligations under the contract. For such clients, we can set a limit on the provision of bank guarantees, under which new guarantees are issued within one to two days.

Besides, we offer bank guarantees to fulfil obligations and for guarantees of refund for private commercial contracts. The main aim of the bank is prompt provision of guarantees required by our clients.

Now there is a quite complicated situation on the banking market of the Republic of Tatarstan. Do you expect that a crossflow of customers between banks?

We point out the increasing demand for services provided by our bank. This indicates the appreciated by the enterprises of the Republic of Tatarstan results of activities and the reliability of Avers Bank.

The reliability of the Avers Bank is confirmed by national and international rankings. In September 2016, Fitch ratings affirmed long-term rating of the Avers Bank on the level of BB-, outlook, ''stable''. Rating Agency RAEX (Expert RA) affirmed the rating of creditworthiness of Avers Bank at the level of A++, ''exceptionally high (the highest) level of creditworthiness'', the rating retained the stable outlook.

To the positive factors, which have a key influence on the rating, there have been assigned a high probability of financial support from the bank's owners, high capital adequacy of own funds and an acceptable level of return on equity. To the positive factors, the Agency also attributed the good quality of the loan portfolio with its high level of security.

By Evgeniya Gazizova. Photo: Roman Khasaev