TBY talks to Elmar M. Mammadov, Chairman of the Management Board at Kapital Bank, on results from 2011, the payment card market, and regulatory reforms.
TBY How has 2011 been for Kapital Bank?
ELMAR M. MAMMADOV It was a successful fiscal year for Kapital Bank, and by the end of 2011 the bank’s assets reached AZN1.32 billion. The bank’s charter capital also increased by 33% to AZN40 million in 2011. Kapital Bank has already succeeded in creating a positive image in the international arena, where it has been trying to expand its profile. The Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) has opened a credit line to the bank for a mortgage program. Now the bank offers free credit resources to foreign companies on short-term conditions. Kapital Bank is a member of the SWIFT international settlements system, Reuters international information and dealing system, and the World Savings Banks Institute.
What are your views on the Central Bank of Azerbaijan’s (CBAR’s) increasing efforts to bring the payment card market to international standards and make it safer?
The tradition of non-cash payment are being formed and developed in Azerbaijan. CBAR is continuing efforts toward stimulating cashless payments and bringing the country’s payment card market to international standards, and is supporting the country’s banks on this front. As a result of the work done, there are four processing centers in the country, including the “KapitalKart” processing center of Kapital Bank. This processing system allows us to provide card payment processing services, support card accounts, ensure the operation of ATMs, POS terminals and other payment terminals, prepare reports for banks and international card organizations, and organize the exchange of information between international card organizations and banks. Kapital Bank is the leading bank in Azerbaijan by number of active plastic cards, which now exceed 2 million. The bank currently has 421 ATMs across the country, and 466 POS terminals.
What regulatory reforms do you believe need to be made to improve the operating environment in the banking sector?
The next phase of banking system reform in Azerbaijan started with the new policy focuses formed in 2000, and these continue until today. In parallel with the huge flow of oil revenues into the country, and as a logical result of a successful oil strategy, purposeful measures are being taken to make the financial resources of the banks prepared to manage this flow. The efficient and safe transformation of oil revenues to the non-oil sector is ensured, and the banking system’s financial mediating function for poverty reduction is being developed. Access to quality banking in regional areas is improving, and we believe that the protection of macroeconomic stability, financial stability in the banking system, and the substantial modernization of the sector should be key priorities for CBAR. The application and development of corporate governance standards is also of great importance.
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