ProCredit Bank Ukraine
After gaining independence in 1991, Ukraine experienced a decade of economic volatility and decline, finally stabilising in 2000. Eight years of considerable economic growth ensued, aided by the Orange Revolution in 2004 and continuous support from the international community. The financial crisis in 2008 marked the end of this favourable period, however, with GDP dropping significantly and the hryvnia devaluating on an hourly basis. Most Ukrainian financial institutions were not able to absorb the shock of the crisis and had to be recapitalised.
Ukraine was one of the first countries to approach the IMF for financial aid in 2008. The organisation quickly approved a support package of USD 16 billion, but co-operation initially proved difficult and there were disagreements over major reforms. The country’s financial turmoil was amplified by political instability throughout 2009, but the presidential elections in January 2010 restored some calm. The new government also succeeded in re-establishing a working relationship with the international community and the IMF.
Today Ukraine has a population of around 45.5 million (source: http://ukrstat.org/uk). The country’s 6.8 million entrepreneurs (15% of the total population) as of 1 July 2013 attest to the importance of the private sector for the local economy. At the end of 2012 Ukraine’s GDP stood at USD 176.3 billion (source: National Bank of Ukraine).
Ukraine’s financial sector grew rapidly between 2000 and 2008, due in large part to the market entry of foreign banks after the Orange Revolution. Accumulated lending in the banking sector grew by 75% in 2007 and 72% in 2008; however, this growth was mainly based on foreign currency lending, including loans to private individuals. Over the course of 2009 the country experienced a considerable decrease in total sector assets, which was exacerbated by the steep devaluation of the local currency. However, in 2010 the National Bank of Ukraine introduced higher capitalisation requirements for banks, which renewed the population’s trust in the banking sector and led to a recovery. The banking sector continued to grow in 2012, but at a slower pace: total banking assets increased by USD 9.1 billion (6.91%) to USD 141 billion by year-end (source: National Bank of Ukraine, www.bank.gov.ua). As of the end of 2012, private sector lending and deposits accounted for 57% and 45% of GDP, respectively (source: National Bank of Ukraine, www.bank.gov.ua).
ProCredit Bank Ukraine was founded in 2001 with the objective of providing reliable banking services to the emerging small and medium-sized business sector. The sustained demand for business loans in conjunction with other banking services led the bank to diversify into retail banking. The branch network developed quickly over the years, and today ProCredit is present in all major cities throughout the country. Although the financial crisis took its toll, which is evident in the decreased loan portfolio quality and financial results, ProCredit Bank Ukraine has emerged from the economic turbulence as a more efficient institution with a good market position and a reputation as a reliable and stable banking partner.
As of December 2012, ProCredit Bank Ukraine had nearly 95,000 clients, including more than 11,300 loan clients. In the current economic environment, the prospects for further development are bright. As the “house bank” for small and medium-sized businesses and the savings bank of choice for private clients, the bank continues to build sound relationships with and provide targeted solutions to all of its clients. This level of service requires professional and well-trained staff who are able to assess our clients’ needs accurately; the bank therefore invested heavily in staff training and development in 2013.