Alexander Dubilet, the Chairman of Ukraine's PrivatBank, recently sat down for a question and answer session to discuss the bank's recent release of financial results and how events in Ukraine are impacting the bank.
Q: What is PrivatBank's current financial condition?
A: PrivatBank's current financial condition is strong. While many other Ukrainian banks have had to close over the past few years, PrivatBank's strong and experienced management, extensive business plan, attention to technology and commitment to international banking standards has enabled it to maintain its position as the country's largest privately-owned bank. We are also the Ukrainian bank that has the highest level of confidence among depositors.
Q: How did PrivatBank perform in 2015?
A: Our recently published audited 2015 consolidated annual report shows that the bank's consolidated profit by 11.4 per cent over the last year. Our capital adequacy ratio (CAR) according to Basel requirements improved from 13.7 per cent in 2014 to 14.9 per cent in 2015. Our CAR according to the requirements of the National Bank of Ukraine was 11 per cent, which is above the mandatory minimum of 10 per cent. We anticipate continuing this growth in 2016 as our increased profits are a testament to our resilient business model.
Q: Is the National Bank of Ukraine a help or hindrance to PrivatBank?
A: PrivatBank recognizes the NBU's statutory authority and, as we have amply demonstrated, fully supports the IMF-led reform effort in Ukraine. We are committed to working with both the NBU and the IMF so Ukraine's economy can move forward.
However, PrivatBank working with the NBU also means that NBU needs to work with PrivatBank. We have important and extensive expertise that NBU should use to inform its decisions and it needs to include us when it is formulating its regulations instead of simply dictating them.
Q: How has PrivatBank been able to survive Ukraine's recent economic problems when so many other Ukrainian banks failed?
A: PrivatBank has survived because our superior technological and management skills have allowed us to nimbly adapt to the ever-changing economic situation in Ukraine. Our endurance as Ukraine's premier privately-held financial institution demonstrates our commitment to proper capitalization and risk management.
Some of the recent changes coming from the NBU have unnecessarily limited our ability to make new loans and that has reduced the economic growth of the country. This would not be the case if the NBU were applying the standards put forth by the International Monetary Fund and were using the expertise of the Big Four global accounting firms.
Q: What is PrivatBank's future?
A: Given how strongly PrivatBank has come through the past few years of economic difficulties in Ukraine and the continued confidence of our depositors, it's impossible to conclude that it has anything but a very bright future. And we're taking significant steps to ensure that's the case by making further investments in technology and continuing to enforce strict codes of conduct, ethics and the lowest possible risk.
We expect PrivatBank to be one of the big reasons the Ukraine economy will move forward. That will happen if the NBU and international institutions work together and with us.