Banks will continue to focus on new and unique offerings to make it easier for customers and to attract new clients in a small market.

Anthony Espina

Chairman, ATF Bank

ATF is currently present in every region in Kazakhstan and, as it stands, most banks only work in just a few cities, namely Astana, Almaty, Karaganda, Shymkent, Aktau, and Atyrau. We have increased our business volume substantially in the last 12 months. We have also increased our SME portfolio 63% YoY. We have increased deposits from our SME clients by 28% and our interest income by 26%, while we also have increased our fees and commissions by 14%. On the retail side, the increase is not as large, because we only target a small part of the retail segment. Our retail portfolio increased 35% YoY, and we issued 17% more debit cards as well. We have increased our fees and commissions by 60% in retail as well. We have decided not to open new branches, preferring our clients to use our services through the internet instead. A major achievement over the past four years has been to bring down our NPL rate from 46% to 10%, and this is an ongoing effort. The issue is that the low-hanging fruit, or easier recoverable debts, have been collected. Now we have to go through the court system to collect the rest, which will take some time.

Ondrej Kubik

Country CEO, Home Credit Bank

In 1Q-3Q2017, Home Credit Bank managed to once again outperform the market due to its strong sales culture and superior risk expertise. This enabled 42% growth in sales volume and significant improvement of risk costs. In the first nine months of 2017, our net loan portfolio grew by 34% due to both business lines—consumer and cash loans. The retail deposit base increased by KZT14 billion YoY. Today, we are ranked number one in deposit growth, with the number of deposit customers exceeding 260,000. NPLs have steadily fallen to 4.19% as of September 2017, compared to 5.22% in December 2016. The bank continues to strictly supervise NPLs. Two bonds in amounts of KZT10 billion and KZT5 billion were issued in May and October 2017, respectively. As a result of all this, Fitch confirmed our ratings as B+ and BBB with stable outlook. We are always looking for opportunities to react faster and better, adapting our value proposition to a dynamically evolving banking market and even more sophisticated client pool. Some of our product introductions, such as conditional-interest products and family protection insurance as a bonus to deposits, are still unique to the local market.

Eldar Sarsenov

CEO, Nurbank

We have two main goals to build our competence in the SME market. First is private loans, or small-time cash loans, for whatever purchases the client needs. The second is small to micro business, where micro is typically below KZT30 million per loan. These are the regular traders in the market. Earlier, they were not covered much by major banks. They are clients of microloan companies that provide services without official financial documentation and at high interest. Therefore, it was thus an obvious opportunity for us to introduce a unique and efficient scoring system. With this, we analyze the result and the official track records of making payments and taxes and can provide financing at lower rates. There is a matter of balancing our interest in attracting more customers and the coming, conservative regulations. There are always new laws to comply with while clients always have certain demands. What makes a bank stand out is being able to talk. Banking is still a broker business and a bank needs to attract brokerage. Second is the ability to be creative. For example, if one is unique in their identity, then one does not need to spend so much on advertising to introduce its service or product.