The Banker magazine awarded the State Bank for Foreign Economic Affairs of Turkmenistan (Turkmenvnesheconombank) the 2020 Bank of the Year award, recognizing the bank as the best bank in Turkmenistan.
In its Wednesday statement, the British financial magazine said the Turkmen bank has undertaken a number of steps over the past year to modernize, a move that has helped it win the country’s Bank of the Year award.
The bank recorded solid financial results in 2019, seeing a 150% increase in net profits and a 112% increase in Tier 1 capital, alongside a non-performing loan ratio of only 1.2%.
The journal added that to create a robust business model, the bank worked with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) on a plan to digitise its operations, and improve expertise and management practices. Changes introduced including expanding the ATM and point-of-sale (POS) networks and bringing in state-of-the-art servers.
Consumers benefited from the introduction of new products, including an overdraft credit card loan and online loan applications, which removed the need to visit a branch. The bank also adopted ‘Milli Visa’ branded bank card, which will bring the bank’s national payment system in line with international payment systems, such as contactless payment technology.
The State Bank for Foreign Economic Affairs of Turkmenistan was quick to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, providing support for small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) customers, with a revised loan schedule for clients that were struggling with repayments. Loans were also made available to companies for settling salaries and maintaining operating costs, to enable production and manufacturing to continue throughout the pandemic.
SME support forms part of the bank’s future plans as it is working in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank to provide financing to support these companies and expand Turkmenistan’s export sector.
The Banker is a British English-language monthly international financial affairs publication owned by The Financial Times Ltd. The magazine, first published in January 1926, is the world’s premier banking and finance resource, read in over 180 countries and is the key source of data and analysis for the industry.