ounded in 1990, Alfa-Bank is a universal bank that carries out all major types of banking operations represented in the financial services market, including servicing private and corporate clients, investment banking, trade finance, etc. The head office of Alfa-Bank is located in Moscow. Alfa-Bank employs more than 24 thousand employees. In 2014, in connection with the Bank of Russia’s decision to reorganize and win the tender, Baltic Bank PJSC became part of the Alfa-Bank Banking Group. The direct shareholders of Alfa-Bank are the Russian company AB Holding, which owns more than 99% of the bank’s shares, and the Cyprus-based ABH FINANCIAL LIMITED, which has less than 1% of the bank’s shares. The Alfa-Bank banking group maintains its position as the largest Russian private bank in terms of aggregate capital, loan portfolio and customer deposits. In addition, Alfa-Bank is included in the list of the top 10 systemically important credit institutions, which was published by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation in the second half of 2015. As of December 31, 2018, Alfa-Bank’s client base comprised more than 530,000 corporate clients and 16.1 million individuals. In 2018, the Group continued its development as a universal bank in the main areas: corporate and investment business, small and medium business (SME), trade and structured financing, leasing and factoring, retail business(including cash loans and credit cards, mortgage lending, savings accounts and deposits, remote service channels). The strategic priorities of the Alfa-Bank Banking Group for 2019 are to maintain the status of a leading private bank in Russia with an emphasis on reliability and asset quality, as well as focus on the industry’s best customer service, technology, efficiency and business integration.
In 2016, Alfa-Bank Banking Group successfully completed the issue of perpetual Eurobonds totaling $ 700 million. This transaction is unique in the Russian market. After the introduction of Basel III standards, Alfa-Bank was the first issuer in Russia to issue public termless Eurobonds. The first call option is provided after 5.25 years, the coupon rate for the first 5.25 years was fixed at 8% per annum (quarterly payment). In early 2018, the Alfa-Bank Banking Group successfully closed the book of applications for the next issue of perpetual Eurobonds that meets the requirements of Basel III (Regulation 395-P of the Bank of Russia). The issue amounted to 500 million US dollars, the first call option is provided in 5.25 years, the coupon rate for the first 5.25 years was fixed at 6.95% per annum (quarterly payment).
Leading international rating agencies assign the Alfa-Bank Banking Group one of the highest ratings among Russian banks. In February 2018, the international rating agency S & P Global Ratings upgraded Alfa-Bank’s long-term rating to “BB +” from “BB”, with a “Stable” outlook. On February 12, 2019, the international rating agency Moody’s Investors Service raised the long-term foreign currency deposit rating of Alfa-Bank to Ba1 from Ba2, the outlook was stable, and also raised the long-term counterparty risk rating to Baa from Ba1. On November 29, 2018, the international rating agency Fitch Ratings confirmed the long-term issuer default rating (IDR) of Alfa-Bank at the level of “BB +”, the forecast is “Stable”.
The credit quality of the Alfa-Bank Banking Group is also highly valued by national rating agencies. On November 13, 2018, the Analytical Credit Rating Agency affirmed the credit rating of Alfa-Bank at AA (RU), the outlook is Stable. The first ACRA Alfa-Bank rating was received in November 2016, becoming the first of the backbone banks. On July 10, 2018, the rating Agency Expert RA confirmed to Alfa-Bank the national scale rating at ruAA level, the forecast is “Stable.” The ratings assigned by national rating agencies with a substantial margin meet the regulatory documents, including those governing the placement of funds from the federal budget,
Alfa-Bank confirms its leading position in the Russian banking sector.
Alfa-Bank became the leader of the “Financial Sphere” award, having won in six nominations of this annual innovation and financial industry award: “Person in retail”, “New Russian Private”, “Head of IT”, “Implementation in the field of reporting” and “Marketing ploy”.
In 2017, following the results of its work in 2016, Alfa-Bank received awards from the international payment system VISA as part of the global Visa Global Service Quality Award program for the high quality of operating services provided to bank customers, Visa cardholders. The bank won the Best International Risk Efficiency and Chargeback Effectiveness categories for the fourth time in a row. Alfa-Bank was the best in terms of these indicators among the 21 thousand member banks of the international payment system Visa.
According to a study by Euromoney magazine, Alfa-Bank for the second year in a row becomes the first in terms of turnover on the Forex market in Central and Eastern Europe. In the world rankings, the Bank ranked 23rd and was among the world’s largest investment banks and funds.
Alfa-Bank entered the top three in terms of convenience and ease of opening settlement accounts for small businesses. According to the research results of the Markswebb Rank & Report analytical agency, Alfa-Bank took the second place, having shown the best result in the time of interaction with the bank – it took a little more than 30 minutes to open an account, including a meeting with a client manager. The study was conducted in June-August 2017 by the method of a secret buyer.
The Alfa-Direct mobile application won the Digital Peaks Award in the nomination “The best system for financial management and financial reporting”. “Digital Tops” is a national award in the field of IT, encouraging the best domestic solutions for improving efficiency.
Separately, I would like to mention the Alfa Private, awarded in 2017 many awards. In June 2017, Alfa Private received a prize in the nomination “The Best Banking Brand According to Private Banking Customers – 2017”, according to the research company Frank Research Group, an annual rating of banks serving private banking customers in Russia, based on an in-depth analysis of key features and proposals market participants for wealthy clients. In September 2017, Alfa Private was highly rated in the Forbes ranking, taking first place among banks providing private banking services, and third in the overall rating. It is worth noting that the bank rose to a position higher compared with the 2016 rating. In October, Wealth & Finance magazine announced the winners of the 2017 Wealth & Money Management Awards. Alfa Private Alfa Bank, the only Russian bank represented at the award received an award in the Best Private Banking Russia category. In December 2017, Alfa Private Alfa-Bank received an award from customers of SPEAR’S Russia Wealth Management Awards 2017 – the only private banking and wealth management award in Russia as the best Russian bank providing banking services for managing large fortunes, as well as the best bank for corporate customers.
Banking Group “Alfa-Bank” is a socially-oriented organization. An important direction of its charitable activities is assistance to socially unprotected segments of the population: pupils of orphanages and boarding schools, seriously ill children, veterans of the Great Patriotic War. Alfa-Bank is actively developing its own scholarship program for talented Russian students, Alfa-Chance provides financial support to the Life Line charity foundation and is a member of the WWF-Russia Corporate Club. Since its founding in 1990, the bank has been known to support large-scale cultural events. With the assistance of Alfa-Bank, world-famous foreign musicians visited Russia. Alfa-Bank is the official European bank of the FIFA 2018 World Cup and the FIFA 2017 Confederations Cup.
Alfa-Bank considers its reputation as the most valuable asset, for this reason, it is one of the first Russian companies to publish a Social Report.