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Mongolia's best domestic bank 2018: Khan Bank

Khan Bank

John Bell, CEO, Khan Bank.jpg
John Bell, Khan Bank

It would be hard to find a part of this vast frontier state that isn’t served by Khan Bank. The former agricultural lender is the country’s best and most-rounded financial institution by a long shot.

About 2.4 million of Mongolia’s 3.1 million people bank with Khan; chief executive John Bell reckons 5,000 new accounts are opened each month, of which 40% are done by parents seeking to set a new-born on the right financial path.

Over three-quarters of all ATM transactions in the country are processed by Khan, which employs 6,000 staff across 536 branches and offices, serving more than 70% of the country’s households.

It stands head and shoulders above its peers both in terms of scale (Khan had assets of $3.35 billion at the end of September 2018, up 16% from a year earlier) and its income-generating capacity (the bank reported a net profit of $64 million in the third quarter of 2018, up 63% from a year earlier).

But two often-overlooked attributes really catch the eye. The first is its all-round prowess: as well as being Mongolia’s biggest retail lender, Khan offers an impressive range of services for its wealthy clientele and at small and medium-sized firms. In September 2018, it secured a $120 million loan from Dutch development bank FMO to fund SMEs in remote spots.

And the second is Khan Bank’s laudable willingness not to rest on its laurels. Its reaction to the threat of disruptive new digital lenders has been to lean in.

Khan is pouring money into digital banking, ensuring that its mobile banking app is, says Bell, on “virtually every smartphone in Mongolia”, and that it’s as strong online as it is offline, with more than 80% of all domestic internet transactions processed by Khan.