Hovhannes Khachatryan: Armenia’s banking sector hasn’t seen defaults for 16 years

06.11.2018 | 10:12 Home / News /
#Hovhannes Khachatryan #Ameriabank
Hovhannes Khachatryan, Head of Assets, Liabilities and Capital Management Division at Ameriabank, said that Armenia’s banking sector has not seen defaults for 16 years.

He noted this in an interview to Banking Review (Банковское обозрение) Russian journal, speaking about what makes Armenia’s banking sector different from that of Russia.

“The first difference is that we have no state-owned banks in Armenia. All the banks are privately owned. This is why the competition among them is very tense. There are also international players here such as HSBC, VTB, Credit Agricole, etc. Nevertheless, local banks successfully compete with them, and Ameriabank, as a private local bank, has been holding the lead for many years.

Secondly, Armenia’s bank regulation is much stricter. It has been instrumental in helping local banks avoid defaults over the past 16 years. After a period of “cleansing” in the late 90s and the first years of the new century, the regulation became even more stringent,” Hovhannes Khachatryan said.

He emphasized that the Armenian market is more liberal than the Russian one - for example, there is no currency control.

“The reluctance of local banks to finance large government infrastructure projects can be viewed both as an advantage or disadvantage.  In this sense local banks are less exposed to risks,” Ameriabank representative said.

Touching upon technology development, he noted that leading Russian banks are more advanced.

“We still have a lot to learn. This is probably because of a conservative approach shown both by the country’s leadership and, in some cases, the leadership of different banks to all sorts of innovation,” Hovhannes Khachatryan remarked.
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