CEE's best bank for SMEs 2019: Alfa-Bank
Awards for Excellence 2019
When Alfa-Bank began focusing on small and medium-sized enterprises 10 years ago, the segment was largely ignored by Russia’s leading banks. Customer service was nonexistent and access to finance was limited, especially for smaller firms.
“It was the lowest priority for most banks to work with SMEs, so the standard of products and services was pretty basic,” says Vladimir Verkhoshinskiy, chief executive of Alfa-Bank.
Alfa-Bank pioneered new methods of working with SMEs, creating a sales and service model specifically for the segment and using new channels to target clients. The success of this strategy quickly attracted competitors – including state-controlled Sberbank, Raiffeisenbank and challenger Tinkoff Bank – but Alfa-Bank has managed to maintain its edge.
From 2015 to 2016, the bank revamped its SME offering to keep pace with digitalization. It has also been at the forefront of the development of ancillary services for the segment, offering legal and tax consulting, as well as hugely popular coaching and seminars on compliance.
“This really is a competitive advantage,” says Verkhoshinskiy.