HERE AND BEYOND
“What we need is a better understanding of region residents in order to build strong partnership relations and break the mould”
Media Room

Interview with Vardan Sardaryan, Ameriabank’s Vanadzor Branch Manager

When did Ameriabank start its activity in Vanadzor? What major problems does it solve? 

Vanadzor is the third largest city in Armenia, thus, any bank considers it important to have a branch here. Not only Vanadzor but the whole Lori region at large contributes to the country’s economy. In particular, the share of the given region in construction, agricultural and manufacturing industries amounts to 8.3%, 7.3% and 6.1% respectively. According to our research living standards and general development of Vanadzor town are highly advanced by SMEs, of which 62% operate in trade, 14% – in manufacturing industry and 15% provide other services. That is to say increase in the share of manufacturing, construction and other services here is parallel to SME growth. Herewith, 25% of SME financing here is provided by our bank. Vanadzor branch was launched in September, 2011, and today we can proudly state that it is one of the most dynamically growing banks among those operating in this region, as well as Ameriabank’s branches. With our key business principles in mind, we conduct regular researches and analyses of the local market and its demand in order to present offers and provide services to the best satisfaction of our clients’ needs in the given region. We strive to be a reliable partner for our clients and offer services fully complying with requirements of the market. I believe we have succeeded at our goal, moreover, we have over-fulfilled the intended plan in terms of certain important figures. Here I would like to outline the results for 9 months of the current year which evidence an increase of 110% in the number of cards, 50% increase of customer base and 60% increase of the branch credit portfolio. We offer multi-purpose services both for legal and physical entities. As for retail business, here we strive to increase lending volumes (inclusive of SME lending) and develop our card business.

Why do the clients choose Ameriabank? What attracts them the most? 

Based on our client relations and feedback we can conclude that periodic innovative proposals and package solutions are our major competitive advantages. In general, we individualize each client, that is to say aside core services we additionally examine the client’s needs and capacities in order to provide him with the most convenient and beneficial option, in other words we give him a freedom of choice. Thus, we break the mould of bank-client relationship converting it into partnership. I think that high level of corporate governance with support of a professional team we have managed to bring together during these years is yet another serious advantage which makes us competitive. Most importantly, regardless of branch location in all our subdivisions we provide high level services complying with uniform standards. I would like to outline a USD 20 mn unprecedented convertible subordinated debt facility agreement recently signed by Ameriabank CJSC and FMO (Netherlands Development Finance Company) with the purpose of capital replenishment. This agreement has materially boosted our competitive positions: firstly, the whole banking system is currently experiencing serious problems with capital replenishment, while for us this problem is already solved; secondly, we have a unique opportunity to apply the best practice of an international organization in our bank allowing us to provide more innovative and better services. This deal will open up new possibilities for our dynamic growth and significant increase in lending volumes. 

Ameriabank turns out to combine its banking activity with charity. You have taken an active part in the recent social events in Vanadzor. Please comment. 

Pursuant to our CSR strategy we simply couldn’t miss such an important event. We have tried to make the Town Day more memorable and brighter for children and elderly people as it is really important for us. Since the very first days both Ameriabank and the whole Ameria Group of companies have taken over CSR as a key component of their adopted policy. This is probably one of the most pleasant and important activities for us. More precisely, this year we have congratulated children of Vanadzor town on Childhood Day with special surprises, and have spent the Day of Older Persons in Vanadzor Old Age Home in a warm and pleasant atmosphere. We took part in “The Voice of Vanadzor” song contest held in Vanadzor for the first time, introducing, among others, a special nomination “The Voice of Ameria” in which Aramayis Hovsepyan was named the winner. We always try to stay close by our town and its residents. 

What services do you currently offer to the residents of Vanadzor town? 

This year we have significantly replenished the list of retail services with new and more interesting ones. We have set ourselves an important task to facilitate SME development in Vanadzor and the whole region. For this purpose we have designed “Boomerang” special campaign under which SME borrowers can transfer their loans to Ameriabank and receive a bonus amounting to 1% of their loan. Moreover, interest rates for USD-denominated loans are 1% lower than standard rates. Furthermore, no fee will be charged for loan provision, and the Bank will cover all the expenditures related to property pledging.
Individual clients can make use of “Boomerang Mortgage Loans” campaign. Here again the borrower will get a bonus in the amount of 1% of his mortgage loan in case he transfers it to Ameriabank before December 31.
Furthermore, we have “Non-Cash Freedom” card campaign, specially designed for cardholders of all Armenian banks, under which Ameriabank offers them a credit line. Due to high demand for this campaign we have decided to extend its term till the end of the year. This campaign stands out among others for the credit line is provided with no service fee and no proof of income is required. Moreover, in case the cardholder’s average monthly non-cash turnover over the last 6 months amounts to at least 80,000 AMD he will get a special credit line with no waste of time and paper chase. The credit line has a set limit of 150,000 - 1,500,000 AMD and may be up to 10-fold of the cardholder’s non-cash transactions.
As already noted, Ameriabank offers flexible services based on specific needs of the client regardless of facility. We are a reliable partner who constantly strives to justify the confidence reposed by the clients. 

Updated 17.11.2014, 17:27
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