Rietumu Bank: We’ll offer competitive services in Armenia
On 21 November 2011, the representation of the Latvian “Rietumu Bank” JSC was registered in Armenia. It is one of the largest banks in Latvia and is very active abroad. Regional Manager at Rietumu Bank Elton Chaus gave an exclusive interview to Mediamax and Banks.am portal and spoke about the reasons for entering the Armenian market.
- What is the reason that the Latvian Bank enters Armenia?
- Rietumu Bank is interested in the development of its representations worldwide and currently has offices in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Romania and France.
According to the information we have, there are many companies in Armenia interested in promoting and developing their business on the territory of European countries. To realize these plans, the Armenian entrepreneurs need a reliable European bank ready to provide full range of banking services at European level. During the meetings with representatives of the Armenian business we received confirmation that local businessmen are interested in such products of Rietumu Bank, as settlement services, documentary transactions, payment cards, business and investment project financing as well as bank consulting. Some Armenian enterprises showed interest in cooperation with the bank.
During the market analysis we found out that our bank may offer competitive conditions as compared to other European banks, taking into consideration the fact that Rietumu exhibits a competent approach to the requirements of the client and understands the nature of the business it is engaged in. One can communicate in Russian at our bank, which is undoubtedly a vital factor in the process of cooperation. Rietumu conducts operations quickly and by affordable tariffs.
These advantages mostly make the cooperation process between the client and the bank easier and thus will favorably affect the business of Armenian clients cooperating with us.
- There are 21 banks in Armenia. It’s a big number for such a small country. How is Rietumu going to move forward on the Armenian financial market?
- Rietumu is not a retail bank. It is specialized in the other segment of the market- maintenance of big business and solvent private individuals. We are going to attract entrepreneurs engaged in the sphere of cargo transportations and logistics, exporters and importers, financial companies. Besides, Rietumu Bank currently serves Armenian residents abroad and deems it expedient to have a permanent representation on the territory of Armenia.
Are you going to start from a “scratch” or consolidate with one of the participants of the sector?
- We don’t have consolidation plans at the moment.
- Rietumu is one of the largest private banks in Latvia specialized in the maintenance of business and private properties. Meanwhile, many Armenian banks are now changing their strategy from corporate banking to retail one. What will be the bank’s strategy in Armenia?
- We stick to the same policy in all countries - maintenance of big business and solvent individuals.
- It’s known that Rietumu is also active in the sphere of investment banking. What perspectives do you see in Armenia in the view of underdevelopment of the local stock market?
- There are interesting investment projects on any market, including Armenia. That’s why we do have perspectives here. The market is developing and this is the most important thing.
- Your bank provides consulting and support to the process of getting residence permit in Latvia. What do you think, will this service be in demand in Armenia?
- The main advantage here is that residence permit in Latvia allows to move freely throughout the Schengen zone. You need no visas, you are spared from long procedures in embassies. Besides, there is no need to live permanently in Latvia, which is very important. We think many people will get interested in it.
The easiest and the quickest way to get a residence permit in Latvia is a subordinated deposit, when the investor invests an amount starting from €300 000 for the period of 5 years to the Latvian bank. The second variant is to buy property starting from € 145 000 in Riga and other big cities or starting from €72 000 in the regions, also on credit. The third variant is to open a business in Riga.
Ruben Harutyunyan talked to Elton Chaus.