The Georgian bank sector has shown satisfactory indicators in 2014. Commercial banks have gained higher public confidence. Georgian citizens intensified cooperation with commercial banks. A growth in volume of nonblank deposits, stock capital and number of credit products stand as a proof to this statement
Zurab Gvasalia, a head for the Association of Banks of Georgia:
The year of 2014 has turned out successful for the Georgian bank sector, first of all, in terms of public confidence and this is a significant factor for commercial banks. Unlike nonbank credit institutions, commercial banks represent an important sector for deposit liabilities. A growth in nonbank deposits placed in commercial banks proves this consideration. The figure surpassed 9 billion GEL in 2014 and reached 11 billion GEL. It should be noted the deposits dollarization coefficient has declined by 14% compared to 2012. The fact signifies the National Bank of Georgia (NBG) has carried out target dedollarization policy.
Along with a growth in the deposits market that represents a considerable source for financing credit investments, the crediting volume of commercial banks in terms of net loans (including loans issued to nonresident bodies) have grown by 24% that is by 2 billion GEL year on year and this is a quite high indicator. Such a growth in credit portfolios points to economic recovery. Commercial banks have also considerably increased stock capitals to 800 million GEL compared to 2013. This is a positive tendency, because in previous years commercial banks used to increase assets through enlargement of drawing financial resources.
Interest rates have fallen on credit resources this year. In 2013 an averaged interest rate on all loans accounted for 17%, while the figure dropped to 13% in 2014.Georgia is one of the leading countries in the region in terms of low interest rates.
Besides traditional bank products, the quantity of internet banking users has also increased. Development of internet services and access to this service of information technologies will further lower the ratio of cash payments in the part of bank operations and consequently, this will increase the ratio of cashless payments. In the end, this process will bring useful results for the state economy in terms of registry of money flows.
Through a growth in remote bank services and introduction of new innovative products commercial banks have actively used a practice of issuing online loans in 2014 to lower expenditures on noninterest rates and improve the service efficiency, quality and comfort.
It is worth noting an introduction of government-proposed foundations have made financial resources more attainable for small and medium-sized business sectors.
The Produce in Georgia project have already approved 37 projects in the agriculture and industry sectors; the Preferable AgroCredit program has already issued about 600 million GEL loans to several thousands of citizens. These moves have influenced the structure of credit portfolios too and the ratio of agro loans in the bank sector’s credit portfolio has almost tripled. The activity of commercial banks prove the sector has overcome a certain passive trend in 2013 and we hope this tendency will be maintained in 2015 too,” Gvasalia noted.