Grant Akopian: Participation in the EBRD Annual Meeting consistent with the strategy adopted by Converse Bank

13.05.2024 | 14:43 Home / News / Interviews /
#Grant Akopian #EBRD #Converse Bank
Converse Bank was a major sponsor of the EBRD Annual Meeting. Grant Akopian, Chief Financial Officer and the Deputy CEO of Converse Bank, spoke about the bank’s participation in the event, its activities in the field of socially responsible financing and expectations from the event.

- Converse Bank has vast experience of cooperation with the EBRD. Which fields are included in the cooperation and how would you describe the cooperation?

Converse Bank has a long-standing productive and extensive cooperation experience with the EBRD, during which numerous projects have been successfully implemented aimed at fostering the development of various sectors of the economy in Armenia. The bank actively cooperates with the EBRD in the scope of international trade finance as well as SME financing programmes. In particular, the attracted funds were channeled to the implementation of the inclusive programme “Women in Business” and financing of local SMEs.

The success of these programmes has been recognized by the EBRD, leading to Converse Bank receiving the “Deal of the Year – Green Trade” award twice and the “Valued Partner of EBRD” award for SME financing.

We cooperate with the EBRD also in the framework of professional capacity development and technical assistance programmes.

- In what capacity does the bank participate in the annual meeting and why is it important for the bank to participate in this internationally significant event?

EBRD’s Annual Meeting stands as an important economic event on the global stage, offering a platform to engage with reputable professionals acknowledged by the international financial community, along with representatives from real sector companies participating in EBRD programmes. Moreover, it holds significant emotional weight, as it places Armenia on the map of the global financial landscape.

Converse Bank participates in the EBRD 2024 Annual Meeting and Business Forum not only as a representative of the financial sector of Armenia, but also as the major sponsor of the event. Participation in an event of such a scale is consistent with the bank’s adopted strategy in terms of facing current challenges, managing risks and collaborating closely with international and foreign institutions to foster the bank’s further development.

- A business forum titled ‘Delivering Impact Together’ will be held during EBRD’s Annual Meeting, emphasising unity and joint efforts to achieve maximum results. How do you see the position and the role of Converse Bank within this concept and vision; and what responsibility is the bank ready to take on?

‘Delivering Impact Together’ - a joint, unified agenda and efforts to overcome challenges.

Today, the global economy is facing challenges such as climate change, cyber security and recent geopolitical events, which are difficult to face independently and separately. In order to cope with these challenges, it is necessary to mobilise global knowledge and experience to create opportunities and platforms for exchange of expertise and cooperation.

In this regard, I emphasize the significance of the business forum convened during the EBRD annual meeting, recognizing its potential to foster new connections and partnerships among participants. Constantly being represented on international platforms, Converse Bank is guided by the principle of meeting the needs of its customers in the best way, striving to create individual and innovative solutions for them, while providing business development opportunities and access to financial resources.

- What is Converse Bank’s strategy for setting up sustainable, socially responsible businesses? What importance is given to socially responsible, sustainable financing and access to banking services in the process of product development?

Socially responsible financing, inclusivity and mitigation of climate and environmental risks in the financing process are among Converse Bank’s strategic priorities.

Based on this commitment, we have implemented a number of environmental, social and corporate principles in the bank, on which the product development processes are based. In this area too, Converse Bank closely cooperates with the EBRD and other institutional partners. In particular, I would like to highlight the participation of respective employees of the bank in the Climate Practices and Transition Planning programme implemented by the EBRD, which aimed at acquiring knowledge and practical skills in climate risk management and transition planning.

- What are your expectations from the event and how would you characterize the outcomes of your participation at the EBRD Annual Meeting?

EBRD is a strategic partner of Converse Bank. We expect a new level of continued partnership and participation in a larger number of projects.

We can affirm that our participation in the EBRD Annual Meeting was very productive for the bank. We engaged in numerous significant meetings and discussions regarding the implementation of joint programmes with our partners, as well as finalized arrangements for new partnerships and projects.

We believe that holding the EBRD Annual Meeting in Armenia and arrangements made for the implementation of the projects in the various sectors of economy will contribute significantly to the country’s economic development. Moreover, the insights gained from discussions and meetings at the business forum will positively influence the further development of the banking system.

Converse Bank is supervised by the CBA.
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