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“AccessBank is now on very solid footing to grow sustainably”:George Rublee, Member of AccessBank Azerbaijan Supervisory Board

15 December 2022

-       Mr. Rublee, you represent Asian Development Bank; what can you tell us about ADB activities in Azerbaijan and how ADB’s investment in AccessBank fits within ADB’s mandate for the country?

-       ADB has been active in Azerbaijan since 1999 and has provided approximately $5.2 billion in assistance to the public and private sectors as well as numerous technical assistance projects to strengthen the operating environment in the country in support of economic diversification, social inclusiveness, and environmental sustainability. ADB’s engagement with the country has focused on a range of sectors from energy and finance to health and education.

ADB’s engagement with AccessBank derives from our desire to see that this important financial institution with a pre-eminent franchise in the microfinance and agricultural sectors across the country remains a valued contributor to the economy.

AccessBank has experienced strong headwinds in multiple waves since 2015 and is now on very solid footing to grow sustainably while providing exemplary services to one of the country’s largest customer bases.

-       What does financial inclusion in emerging markets (and Azerbaijan) mean for ADB, is it simply expanding reach of banking services or something more than that?

-       Financial inclusion incorporates geographic, business sector, and social components to ensure fair and affordable access to all. The greater society's participation in the financial sector, the greater the potential for economic growth that raises disposable income and elevates populations out of poverty while also improving economic resilience.

-       What are the expectations of the largest shareholder from AccessBank in the next 5 years?

-       Continued improvement in the bank’s key financial metrics of portfolio quality, capital adequacy, and profitability to enable a broad reach of valued customer services supporting an enhanced yet sustainable return on equity. I am highly confident in the assembled management team as well as the staff at headquarters and branches to deliver such results.