The FINANCIAL -- Bank Republic, one of the leading commercial banks in Georgia has opened a new outlet in Isani. The Isani branch will be the fifth one since Bank Republic became integrated with Société Générale Group, one of the main European financial services companies.
“We think Isani will be a very good area for business. We have a large expansion plan forecasted for the years to come. We are planning to open one branch every month. In December a new branch will be opened on Marjanishvili Street,” said Mr. Gilbert Hie, CEO of Bank Republic, at the opening ceremony of the Isani branch held on November 27.
“Right now we have 32 branches and service centres operating in Georgia. By the end of 2008 we will have 45. By the end of 2009 we will probably have 60. Our ultimate plan is to have 70-80 branches in this country providing our customers with high quality service and new products. We are expanding our business both in corporate and retail banking.”
Bank Republic is one of the leading financial institutions of Georgia. According to company data the bank owns market shares of 11% in deposits and 7% in loans. Over the past two years the bank has focused its development on the fast-growing retail banking market and now controls 30% of the cards market. In 2006 the bank’s actives increased by 30%.
“I think there are three important pillars for developing the banking industry in Georgia. The first one is network expansion. As you can see we are working very efficiently to this end. The second one is high quality products, for this purpose we have recently proposed new products in mortgage loans with a very aggressive marketing campaign as well as in consumer finance. The third important aspect is high quality of service. I truly believe that the most successful bank in the years to come will be the one with the highest quality of service,” said Hie.
Total income of Bank Republic reached GEL 40,088,000 for the period of 30 September, 2007, while total assets amount to GEL 441,915. 000. The bank has Shareholders’ Equity of GEL 78,860. 000.
“Our global profitability is increasing year by year. We are increasing the number of branches because we strongly believe that network expansion has strategic importance for us. If we want to develop business in this country we need to have good coverage of the territory and therefore open more and more branches, not only in Tbilisi but also in the provinces.”
Société Générale owns 60% of the share capital of Bank Republic. 10% is owned by the European bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
Société Générale Group employs more than 120 000 million people worldwide in three key businesses. Retail Banking & Financial services: Société Générale serves more than 22.5 million individual customers worldwide. Global Investment Management & Services: Société Générale is one of the largest banks in the Euro-zone in terms of assets under custody (EUR 2.262 billion) and under management (EUR 442 billion, 2006). Corporate and investment banking: Société Générale ranks among the leading banks worldwide in Euro capital markets, derivatives and structured finance.
Société Générale is included in five major socially-responsible investment indexes.
“It is very important for Bank Republic to develop micro-lending activities since we devote great attention to corporate social responsibility which also involves helping small business grow, and in this case small businesses in the Isani area.”