The Micro Finance Bank of Azerbaijan began its operations in Baku on October 29, 2002, and was re-branded in September 2008 as AccessBank. Bank has rapidly developed within a brief period and gained great achievements. The most important stages of development are specified below.
- The Banker names AccessBank as ‘The Bank of the Year in Azerbaijan’;
- Michael Hoffmann became the new Chairman of the Management Board;
- Azerbaijan Celebrates International Savings’Day;
- AccessBank Celebrates its 10-Year Anniversary!;
- AccessBank launched credit cards;
- Euromoney recognized AccessBank as best bank in Azerbaijan;
- AccessBank’s deposit portfolio exceeds USD 200 mln;
- AccessBank signs USD 15 mln loan with EBRD;
- AccessBank – Repay Your Loan by Phone;
- AccessBank to adjust shareholder structure;
- AccessBank Increases Capital;
- AccessBank Launches vehicle insurance;
- Fitch Affirms AccessBank’s BB+ Rating;
- AccessBank Opened its 30th Branch in Guba.
- Fitch reaffirms AccessBank’s ‘BB+ - Outlook stable’ rating – the highest in Azerbaijan’s financial sector;
- AccessBank wins Global Finance ‘Best Bank in Azerbaijan’ annual award;
- Euromoney names AccessBank as ‘Best Bank in Azerbaijan’ in its annual ‘Awards for Excellence’ for the second consecutive year;
- The Banker names AccessBank as ‘The Bank of the Year in Azerbaijan’ in its annual ‘Bank of the Year’ awards.
- BB+ rating confirmed by Fitch Ratings, with Individual Rating increased to ‘D’ – the highest rating for a private bank in Azerbaijan;
- Five new branches open, including three in the regions and two in Baku, and a building purchased for the new Head Office;
- First dividend of AZN 5 million distributed to shareholders. Deposits increased 86% during the year to finish at USD 152 million. This combined with retained earnings to more than cover asset growth and reduce dependency on foreign borrowings;
- Became a lead sponsor of the Azerbaijan Football Federations Association, (AFFA) which includes 11 men’s, women’s and junior national teams;
- AccessBank CEO named ‘Banker of the Year’ in Azeri Business Awards;
- Awarded ‘5 Diamonds’ by the Microfinance Information Exchange for transparency – the highest level available;
- The Microfinance Centre (MFC) recognised AccessBank for good practice in client protection and avoidance of over-indebtedness – making it the only MFI in the Caucasus so awarded;
- Euromoney named AccessBank the Best Bank in Azerbaijan in annual ‘Awards for Excellence’;
- Standard & Poor’s rating agency ranked AccessBank as the most transparent bank in Azerbaijan.
- AccessBank named one of the three most sustainable banks of Eastern Europe in the 2009 Financial Times Sustainable Banking Awards;
- AccessBank joins the ‘SMART’ Campaign for Client Protection – the first bank in Azerbaijan to do so.
- Micro Finance Bank of Azerbaijan renamed AccessBank to create a stronger and more distinct brand;
- BB+ rating first received from Fitch Ra-tings – the highest rating of any private bank in Azerbaijan and matching the country ceiling;/li>
- New refinancing loans concluded in the year exceed USD 80 million, including the second closing of AccessBank’s debut bond and the signing of the Bank’s first syndicated loan, arranged by EBRD;
- AccessBank’s Agroloan product named ‘Best New Product’ by Azerbaijan Micro-finance Association;
- AccessBank joins the UN Global Compact – the first bank in Azerbaijan to do so.
- AccessHolding joins as a new shareholder;
- Continuing introduction of new retail and ‘cross-sector’ products, including international trade-finance, Visa-branded debit cards, Salary Projects, and point-of-sale terminals;
- Dedicated Agro Loan product launched;
- Alpha rating obtained from M-CRIL specialist microfinance rating agency;
- New refinancing loans concluded in the year exceed USD 50 million including: the first closing of AccessBank’s debut bond – the first bond from an Azerbaijani issuer on international capital markets; the first AZN-denominated loan from an international private investor, SNS Institutional Microfinance Fund; and AccessBank’s first sub-ordinated loan, from Deutsche Bank.
- Retail business developed with introduction of additional deposit and money transfer products, retail lending, debit cards, ATMs, and joining the Visa card network.
- Term deposit launched and AccessBank joins the international SWIFT, Western Union and Privat Money money transfer networks;
- First non-shareholder refinancing loans received from Global Microfinance Facility, Blue Orchard, Deutsche Bank, Incofin, and Triodos;
- First regional branch opened in Ganja.
- Current accounts and money transfer systems launched.
- First refinancing loan received from EBRD (USD 5 million).
- Founded on 29 October as the Micro Finance Bank of Azerbaijan by Black Sea Trade & Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, International Finance Corporation, KfW and LFS Financial Systems.