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Excellence in leadership in CEE 2020: Halyk Bank

Awards for Excellence 2020

Kazakhstan’s banks faced a difficult challenge in the first two months of the pandemic. When president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev announced a state of emergency on March 16, he also unveiled plans to provide a support payment of KT42,500 ($106) to all citizens economically affected by the pandemic.

The catch was that these payments had to be delivered via bank accounts, either online or via cards. In a country with low overall banking penetration and even lower usage of digital channels, this put a huge burden on the banking sector – and particularly on Kazakhstan’s largest and most trusted lender, Halyk Bank

The bank stepped up to the challenge. Within six weeks, it had opened new accounts for more than 300,000 clients, as well as seeing uptake of its digital services for the first time by more than 500,000 existing clients. 

Umut Shayakhmetova

“In the first two weeks of quarantine we developed the ability to onboard clients remotely, which was a major challenge,” says chief executive Umut Shayakhmetova.

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