Best Bank: Unibank
Despite the slowdown in growth over the past two years, from 300% to 100%, UniBank has now secured, and retains, a strong third position in terms of assets in the Azerbaijan banking sector, and is also the country’s biggest private bank. Despite being far behind the International Bank of Azerbaijan in terms of size and market share, UniBank wins this award because of its impressive retail franchise, which has focused on client relations, and its broad and innovative retail product range. In the past year the bank’s management and corporate governance standards have been particularly praised as the team of young managers have driven the institution forward by completing two $5 million international syndicated loans and appointing the former president of Deutsche Bundesbank, Ernst Welteke, as an independent director of the supervisory board. In the next year, Kapital Bank is also tipped to generate competition once a 50% privatization stake has secured a strategic investor.