Kazakhstan's best bank for SMEs 2019: ATF Bank
This was a category that almost every bank wanted to win; lending to small and medium-sized enterprises is a big part of the growth plan for almost all banks in Kazakhstan at the moment.
But ATF Bank’s commitment to smaller clients makes it the standard-bearer.
The bank, managed by chief executive Sergey Kovalenko, increased its lending to SMEs by 40% in 2018, capping a 150% rise in its loan portfolio over three years. Echoing the moves of its rivals, it has partly been doing this by relying more and more on technology.
In July 2018, it created its Landau credit analysis system, a credit-scoring software that dramatically speeds up the approval of new loans. ATF says the average speed of SME loan approval fell from 43 days in 2016 to between 10 and 14 days in 2018. This is still slower than some of its rivals, but ATF Bank’s total-banking offering is enough to attract that steady growth in clients.
ATF is now focusing its efforts on serving SMEs in a more comprehensive way than simply offering loans, which is where some other banks start and finish. It is eyeing a variety of product launches in the sector, including help with documentation and settlement.
The bank’s loans and guarantees may help it win business, but in a highly competitive market, that additional help will help it keep business – giving it more chance of maintaining clients as small enterprises become medium-sized ones, and medium-sized ones grow large.