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"We risk together with the client"

Chairman of the Supervisory Board of SMEs of the Bank Dmitry Golovanov - how to help small banks stand in competition, and small business -

Photo: VEF / TASS Photobank
- Dmitry Yaroslavich, during the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, I observed how the employees of your visiting office at the bank stand work literally in the sweat of their brow. How many documents and loan agreements were signed?

- This is not the first Far Eastern forum where we work. When so many investors and borrowers, entrepreneurs and government officials gather at one site, work is always much more efficient. It is better to begin to understand the current situation and the most important trends of tomorrow. Such summits are a wonderful remedy for excessive "oversleeping", when one can hardly see the prospects with a daily routine. In this respect, the WEF always gives us a lot. We gather together and once again "check the hours", discuss common problems with colleagues and get extremely interesting proposals. And, of course, there is a practical impact. During the forum, the SME Bank signed 8 credit and guarantee agreements with resident entrepreneurs in the Far East and several agreements aimed at developing the SME segment in the Far Eastern region.
- The very name of your bank contains an abbreviation of SMEs - small and medium-sized businesses. What kind of support on your part can the small and medium business of the Far East count?
- Our bank is owned by the Federal Corporation for the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises, a state joint-stock company. In the Far East, we have offices in each of the 9 regions, and in the Khabarovsk and Primorye Territories - two. We closely cooperate with the Corporation for the Development of the Far East and the Agency for Human Capital Development in the Far East. We have our own niche - we are primarily engaged in lending to priority industries. Among the most interesting loan products of SMEs of the Bank is support of sports business, women entrepreneurship, agricultural cooperation. Another direction is bank guarantees. The third, especially promising for us, is the securitization of loans.
- Could you explain what its essence is?
- To date, it is very difficult for small or regional banks to compete with large financial structures. Their ratings are not high, there is no source for "long money", they can not raise funds from the population at low rates. Therefore, in the lending market, regional banks lose big. Three quarters of the financial market is occupied by banks from the TOP-30, the rest falls to the share of modest regions. By the way, back in 2012, the ratio was 50 on 50. Obviously, large banks are gradually replacing regional competitors. Moreover: the best, most reliable and promising clients from the regions leave for them. As a result, the current level of overdue loans in the small and medium-sized business segment of large banks is 9%, and regional - about 18%, that is twice as much. By the way, in our bank the level of bad debts in this segment is only 3%.

The essence of securitization is that the average bank can not issue loans indefinitely and for large sums. The Bank of Russia as a regulator of the financial market introduced a restriction: the size of the loan portfolio should be related to the bank's own capital approximately as one to ten. If you have an authorized capital, for example, 1 billion rubles, then you can not give out more than 10 billion "good" loans. Small and medium-sized banks assign us their loan portfolios, thereby gaining the opportunity to "unload" capital, find new borrowers and earn on them. We buy from them the old loans and use them as collateral for bonds that are issued on the financial market. As a result of this circulation of funds, small banks receive additional resources and, working on our technologies, become competitive with respect to large federal banks. The fact is that we are buying not just loans, but those that are issued in accordance with modern technologies and in accordance with the Unified Standards for SME Banking lending, developed by the SME Bank and approved by the Bank of Russia. To banks such methodical and expert support goes only on advantage. We have access to a number of federal government programs to support small and medium-sized businesses and invite banks to become our agents, thereby enabling them to lend on these same programs. We have low interest rates on loans and a convenient feedback system, so these agents actively work with entrepreneurs and sell them our banking products.
- And who from the Far East businessmen now especially willingly takes loans from you?

- During the forum, as I said, 8 loan and guarantee agreements were concluded. Most recently, the SME Corporation, of which we are a subsidiary bank, has signed a cooperation agreement and a road map with the Ministry of Sport. Within the framework of these documents, our bank has developed several loan products in support of entrepreneurs who conduct business in the sports field. This, first, small fitness centers, swimming pools or gyms, in fact, "district". Secondly, we provide a credit line to manufacturers of sports goods and equipment involved in public procurement. This makes it possible to improve the quality of such production. And, third, we finance larger infrastructure sports facilities.

And the first loan for this program we gave to an individual entrepreneur from Birobidzhan. She has her own fitness club, and now there is a rehabilitation department for disabled children. Including pool for restoring health. In this project, as an order, all our priorities are combined - and sport, and social entrepreneurship, and the Far East, and the "woman's face" in business. The loan is small, about 25 million rubles. But this is a real project. I hope that he will bring people joy and health.

In general, my heart banker are nice to all the projects that we are doing in the Far East. They belong to different spheres. For example, the company "Terra" is the production of light-emitting diodes, there are agricultural companies, such laborers who stand with their feet on the ground. Half of those who work with us, strive to receive part of their proceeds from export contracts. Agricultural export in the border areas we have identified in a separate strategic direction and actively develop it. There are special products for residents of TOR and TOSER. In addition, the guarantees of the Corporation of SMEs and regional financial organizations allow us to gradually move on to a non-collateralized loan system, which was previously rarely practiced.
- If you call a small loan in 25 million, what are the average loan sizes for small and medium-sized businesses?

- On average, it is - about 20 million, sometimes less. Typically, this is an investment in fixed assets. For example, in the construction of a family restaurant, the purchase of equipment or arrangement of farmland. Other banks, of course, give citizens and very small loans, thousands of three hundred. But there is a difference between borrowing for personal needs and means for developing one's own business. At the same time, it is very important to understand that both our bank and any others credit only those who can then return the money.
- Are there any problem debtors?

- In the Far East, we have been working for about two years, and the average loan term in our bank is 3,5 years. Until I remember some particularly difficult cases. In addition, we work very carefully with borrowers, we strive to build credit products and financial services so that they work for real projects. Clearly monitor the targeted use of the money issued, so as not to get a "shot in the air."

Credit requires a person from a special discipline. Many borrowers admit that before they came to our bank, they did not take their monitoring of the movement of their funds so seriously, to their targeted use. The bank requires strict monitoring of production activities. It's hard, not everyone can like, but it gives you an opportunity to clear up and pay off the creditor on time, while keeping your business and expanding it.
- Well, if nothing happens with the extension?

- Risk is the essence of business, and we risk together with the client. Another thing is that we have more experience and reliable tools so that the risk can be properly assessed. Therefore, special analysts work in the bank, which critically examine any business model with which the client comes to us. Their task is to explain to him that the goals are too ambitious, the possible decline in the market or other unfavorable factors has not been calculated, the requests for volumes of products or services do not match the effective demand, etc.

By the way, it helps clients very well to take a "sighted" decision about their business such a portal as the SME Business Navigator. It provides a unique opportunity to assess the expected return from a particular business in a particular region, based on already existing successful cases. Business plans, automatically formed through the SME Business Navigator, we gladly finance.
- Do you often refuse to issue a loan?

- We have a lot of applications all over Russia, in the Far Eastern Federal District too. But the level of their approval in the FEF is lower than the national average. What does it say? The fact that often the quality of information that the entrepreneur prepares for himself leaves much to be desired. There is something to work on. Not everyone keeps a close eye on their accounting records and keeps records. The culture of relations with the bank is not too developed. This should be dealt with seriously. Moreover, after a while all entrepreneurs will go "into the figure". Already, there are from 20 to 100 various databases, from which you can get information about certain businessmen and their companies. Those who openly posted information about themselves in such bases, get a loan ten times faster than the "silent", who are silent as guerrillas, afraid to disclose commercial secrets. It's just ridiculous - well, what are the secrets now, everyone knows everything about everyone. In many countries, information about the entrepreneur is transferred from the bank to the bank without his consent in accordance with the law. And this is considered the norm, an indicator of the "financial health" of market participants.
- Your bank does not conduct wide advertising campaigns. Are you sure that potential customers are generally aware of your existence and tempting offers?

- There is really no global advertising (for example, on TV channels). But, as practice shows, in our case the direct work in the regions gives a much greater return. Our regional representatives in all regions of the Russian Federation go to places, tell and explain all the details to the future customers. A lot depends on the work of agents in the person of regional banks. They serve as a kind of "interface" between us and customers. Explain how to fill out application forms, provide access to our programs. And, of course, we are now focusing on online technology. We created an advanced online system that allows you, if you have an electronic signature, to enter the special portal of our bank, issue an application, upload all necessary reports, send it and receive feedback almost at once. If everything is correct and the accounts do not raise questions - the loan will be received as soon as possible.

We sincerely wish our customers success. As a rule, wishes come true.
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