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Center-invest Bank is one of Russia’s Top 5 Banks for SMEs

Expert RA has published its annual ranking of Russia’s banks that work with SMEs. Center-invest Bank is in 4th place. Year after year we are one of the leading banks for SMEs in Russia.

Based on performance in 2019, Center-invest Bank ranks 4th for size of sole traders loan portfolio, 11th for size of SME loan portfolio, and 14th for volume of SME lending.

Loans to SMEs in southern Russia account for one third of Center-invest Bank’s total loan portfolio. At 1 January 2020, our SME loan portfolio stood at RUB30.2bn, and in 2019 our sole traders loan portfolio grew by 15% to RUB9.8bn.

The expansion of government-subsidized loan programmes was a significant growth driver in the SME lending market in 2019. Last year Center-invest Bank lent SMEs a total of RUB11.9bn under government programmes (Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry for Economic Development, and the Bank of Russia).

Previously, businesses had to apply for a subsidized interest rate themselves. Now the bank handles all the paperwork, so businesses can obtain a loan with a preferential rate straightaway.

"Center-invest Bank’s extensive digitalisation of its loan processes (from loan application to loan disbursement and repayment) has led to an increase in SME lending," says Maria Khristolubova, deputy head of the bank’s SME Division. "Today, businesses are looking for quick loan decisions, convenient ways to manage and repay their loans, and the choice of a loan programme that reflects regional economic differences."

In addition to offering unique loan products for SMEs, as part of its ESG-digitalisation strategy Center-invest Bank has a business accelerator ( Over 2500 start-ups, social business projects and female entrepreneurs have already graduated from the accelerator and are growing their businesses together with Center-invest Bank.