Center-Invest: southern champion with a social conscience
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Center-Invest: southern champion with a social conscience

"If Moscow is the centre of Russia, then the south is the pearl." That’s the mantra that Vasily Vysokov, chairman of Bank Center-Invest, likes to chant about the Krasnodar Krai federal district where his bank is the pre-eminent private sector player.

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As a native of Rostov-on-Don where Center-Invest is headquartered, he’s clearly biased in his opinion of his home region but there’s no denying the fact that he and his wife Tatiana, who founded the bank back in 1992, have built a successful banking franchise that has propelled Center-Invest into the top 150 banks in Russia. So successful in fact that Vysokov remains supremely confident that Center-Invest will comfortably see off increasing competition from both Russian- and foreign-owned banks on his home turf.

In recent years the bank has been able to double its key financial figures, a performance that Vysokov claims can be maintained in the face of all-comers on the back of a simple philosophy. "As a regional bank, we know how to manage regional risks properly," he says. What’s more, he says, after more than a decade and a half of operations the bank is now a fixture in its home region and has become a brand that people have come to trust. Moscow-based banks such as MDM Bank, Alfa Bank and Bank of Moscow alongside foreign-owned players such as Austrian-owned Raiffeisenbank, Italian-owned International Bank of Moscow and French-owned BSGV are trying to muscle in on Center-Invest’s territory, but Vysokov is sanguine about the threat they pose.

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