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French Credit Agricole - 25 years in Ukraine

02 July 2018

«Delovaya stolitsa», №26, 25.06.2018

Credit Agricole, a bank with the French roots, celebrates its 25th anniversary in Ukraine. It is the oldest foreign bank in the country. «ДС» asked Galina Zhukova, the Board Member of the bank, what it means for customers, for the banking sector and employees.

- What does it mean: to be the oldest foreign bank in Ukraine? 

- It means to bring banking with a global name, with more than 130 years of experience, with excellent reputation, transparent and comprehensible service, with products and expertise developed by more than hundred years of work in 50 countries to Ukraine. 

- How to you assess the development of the bank in Ukraine for 25 years? 

- It is a whole epoch for us. Credit Agricole appeared in Ukraine in 1993 as a solid but small bank that served only corporate, mainly international, customers and very selectively large local corporate customers. Over these 25 years the bank grew into a large (one of TOP 10 in assets) universal bank serving all market segments – from private individuals to large international corporations.  

- Reliability is important. But to win the customer, you need to keep up with the times. Your focus is on digital. Can you tell more? 

- Today, everyone focuses on digital technologies, not only us. We launched internet banking for private customers and each release gets new functionalities. Now it is a serious solution with many useful options. We are working on various projects like NFC payments, launching internet banking for corporate customers, project of electronic PIN codes and investing into digitalization of internal processes of the bank. We try to perform transactions online as much as possible.

- The bank was recently rewarded for the best outlet in Ukraine. What makes this new model branch special? 

- These outlets is our pride and one of the most important projects. We used both the experience of the whole Credit Agricole Group and preferences of our customers. New outlets fully meet the positioning «100% human – 100% digital». Here customers may perform many transactions on their own via digital devices but also receive consultancy from specialists of the bank. This is exactly the combination required by Ukrainian consumers today.

About innovative business projects. Ukraine lacks platforms where entrepreneurs and their startups can get knowledge and support, access to real investments. How is this process organized in Paris? Please tell about business incubator Le Village.

- Few years ago, Credit Agricole Group established the first Le Village in Paris: it was not the classical business incubator but the system that allowed the startups to find investment solutions. Their key problem is lack of market access opportunities, and Credit Agricole can help them. 22 business incubators Le Village by CA already operate in France. In total, there are more than 400 startups that raised 23.5 MEUR since the beginning in 2014 during the past year. In Le Village a startup can get premises, coaching, and – the most importantly – access to market players. in particular with more than 300 partners, large corporates and SME's. This is the biggest value the Group can give to startups. And there is an Ukrainian startup in Le Village!

- If you compare French and Ukrainian banking markets, what are we missing? 

- The biggest difference is that in the French banking turnover there is almost no cash. In 8 000 Credit Agricole outlets in France there is not a single physical cash desk! Customers do not need them as cash hardly ever used. In taxy, on the market – POS terminals are everywhere, everybody accepts cards. No cash, no need in cash desks, and customers have completely different mentality.  

In Ukraine the situation is different. And innovations will not solve the problem: their availability will not reduce cash usage. The problem is in transparency of economy, in taxation system, and, in fact, in governmental policy. Money should be in the banking system. And banks are ready to cooperate…

- What do private customers expect from banks? 

They want transparent and clear tariffs. They are ready to pay for high quality of service, for availability of online services, for professional advice of a branch specialist. But they want to understand what they pay for, they want simple and fast transactions and instant access to contact center. Premium customers are ready not only to save money but also to invest it according to the European model. They are waiting to deposit alternatives.

Interviewed by Denis Lavinkevych

Interview with Galina Zhukova - a member of the board of Credit Agricole Bank.

Contact center Credit Agricole
0 800 30 5555 Free