image description

 

The Bank was founded in 1990 as "Ekorazvitie" Commercial Bank by a number of Belarusian entities.

Previous names:

  • "Ekorazvitie" Commercial Bank (from September 27, 1990 to July 31, 1991);
  • "Ekorazvitie" Minsk Commercial Bank (from July 31, 1991 to November 19, 1992);
  • "Ekorazvitie" Joint Stock Commercial Bank (from November 19, 1992 to October 20, 1993);
  • "Olymp" Open Joint Stock (from October 20, 1993 to November 28, 1997);
  • Belorussian-Russian Belgazprombank Joint Stock (from November 28, 1997 to date).

"Ekorazvitie" Commercial Bank was registered in the State Bank of the USSR in 1990. There wereseveral structural transformations in the Bank that followed thereafter and ended only on November 27, 1997 when the current name of the Bank i.e. Belorussian-Russian Belgazprombank Joint Stockwas registered. In fact, it was only at that stage that the Bank commenced its activity as a Gazprom group entity.

The first shareholders of the Bank were Interpribor Joint Venture, Zaptechnoekos and Effekt Industrial Company.

During the first year of the Bank's performance (1990-1991)itsowners' structure changed resulting in Belbytprom and Zhilcombank, Optus small company, Polyfak, Zaptechnoekos, Belbytsouz becoming the Bank's main shareholders.

By the end of 1991 and the beginning of 1992 the shareholders' structure of the Bank stabilized and accounted for 49 legal entities and individuals. The Bank's largest owners included such entities as WITT Joint-Stock Company, Sizbor Production Company, Rebus Research and Production Center, Dynamo Football Club, Rodnik Information and Cultural Center, Reforma Small Innovative Enterprise, Servisavto Small Enterprise, Union of Entrepreneurs,a number of tenant companies of the Republic of Belarus.

In accordance with the new edition of the Articles of Association of the Bank, the major focus of its activity shifted. In mid-1991 the management announced that the Bank would start to support small businesses, support the republic’s new economic policy in the area of money circulation, lending, financing, settlements, improving the monetary system and increasing the stability and purchasing power of the ruble. The support of small businesses was given close attention. The class of entrepreneurs, which was actively emerging in those years, was in dire need of new banking services offered by flexible financial institutions that appeared all over the country as competitors to the leaden and cumbersome banks of the Soviet system. Although focus on small (and later on micro-, small and medium business) changed somewhat over time, it has remained prevalent in the Bank. A bulk of programmes currently implemented by Belgazprombank suggest further strengthening of the Bank's positions in MSME segment of the non-state sector of the economy.

Despite ambitions Ekorazvitie was not destined to play any significant role in the financial world of Belarus. By the end of the third year of the Bank’s existence (1993), the name “Ekorazvitie” changed to "Olymp" as per the decision of the Bank's shareholders meeting. According to the changes to the Articles of Association which followed Olymp was established as an open joint-stock company.

The shareholders’ structure has almost completely changed. Three out of seven members of the Bank’s Board of Directors worked as top managers of CJSC “Pushe”, the rest headed the following enterprises: Buzhena, Intermark, Prointex and Tanak. The changes of the shareholders of Olymp affected its staff. About 50 highly qualified specialists came here in 1994 from one of the largest private banks in the country at that time i.e. from Belarusbank. Thus, a team of high professionals were formed who had considerable experience in financial activities in a modern, universal Belarusian credit institution. Valery Selyavko, formerly Deputy Chairman of the Board of Belarusbank in charge of foreign economic activity, became the Chairman of the Board of Olymp.

Olymp declared its status in the country's economy as a universal financial institution that provides clients with almost all types of banking services. The bank received a license for banking activities issued by the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus on June 28, 1994. The Bank received a general license for banking operations in foreign currency on November 1, 1994 and license for depository operations on July 20, 1994. On August 25, 1994 Olymp became a fully licensed at securities market participant.

In 1994-1996 the regional structure of Olymp underwent significant changes. In addition to increasing the number of specialized departments within the Bank itself, in March 1994 the Board decided to open four branches of Olymp in Minsk and one in Smorgon. Throughout 1994 and in the beginning of 1995 Olymp was increasing its turnover and revenues expanding its sphere of activity - it opened a branch in Vitebsk and became a member of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications SWIFT. In addition from July 1994 to April 1995 the Bank’s Management Board established Credit and Finance Committees to develop and implement the Olymp’s general policy in the areas of lending, interest rates, liquidity and capital adequacy. It is noteworthy that the loan portfolio of Olymp throughout the entire period of its operations under this name remained one of the most quality in the financial system of Belarus. By the end of 1995 the structure of Olymp and its branch network were finally formed. There were five branches - three in Minsk, one in Vitebsk and one in Smorgon.

In 1995 the management of Olymp began the process of its conceptual restructuring by taking measures aimed at moving the Bank to a higher level in the financial rating of the country. By that time many credit institutions of Belarus which were going to withstand the difficult economic and political situation that had developed in the country by the mid-1990s had to take steps to survive. The overall decline in the profitability of the banking business caused by a downturn in business, tight regulation, certain direct government control over the implementation of banking activities, a significant increase in capital adequacy ratio pushed financiers to seek ways get over the crisis of the banking system. The Bank took austerity measures, first, by minimizing its costs as much as possible and, on the other hand, by pursuing activities in areas that can bring recognition and profit even in a distant future. Olymp sought to move away from the universality typical to most banks in the country and to develop certain specialization. The choice was made in favor of modern, high-tech types of banking services, whether it be plastic cards or services in the field of securities. That was required by both the situation in the financial market and prospects for further development.

Olymp became the first Belarusian bank to issue a universal plastic card in rubles, and in 1996 continued to participate in the development of the Belcard interbank payment system.

In March 1996 Olymp became a member of the Belarusian Union of Investors and then entered into a partnership agreement with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on participation in investment programs for small and medium-sized businesses in the country. The EBRD, which applies in the CIS countries the practice of conducting various programs promoting the development of a market economy, selects as a rule the best local banks that have proven themselves in the domestic and foreign markets and have indicators demonstrating their unconditional stability and reliability.

At that time the audit of the Bank was carried out by the largest international company Price Waterhouse and it confirmed the proper level of business management taken by the top management of Olymp.

For two years (1996-1997) Olymp has remained the most active partner of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. In the second tranche allocated by the EBRD to Belarus in 1996 the share of Olymp was 65%. With the help of Western investments, the Bank contributed to the organization of new modern industries in Belarus. The total amount of foreign investments attracted with its participation to the economy of Belarus exceeded six and a half million dollars. The selected orientation to the gas industry of Belarus and active contacts with representatives of Gazprom and Gazprombank (that would later become the main shareholders of Olymp and change its name to Belgazprombank) run into certain problems within the country. In fact, three Belarusian banks were fighting for the right to become a representative of Gazprom’s financial interests in the Republic of Belarus. However, in mid-1997 Olymp won. By the autumn of the same year the increase in the authorized capital of Olymp was registered ensuring the Bank to meet the requirements established by the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus. The Bank changed its name from Olymp to its current name, i.e. Belgazprombank, which reflected its affiliation to the powerful industrial and financial empire. In November 1997 Belgazprombank was registered by the decision of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus. Its main shareholders became "Gazprom" OJSC and "Gazprombank" Comercial Bank from the Russian side and Beltransgaz and the Ministry of State Property Management and Privatization from the Belarusian side. The funds contributed by the founders made it possible for the Bank to occupy a strong position in the banking rating of the republic by core financial metrics such as reliability, liquidity, solvency.

Today Belgazprombank has become a systemically important bank of the I group of importance (the highest possible level) as per the decision of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus. The Bank’s focus has remained on the support of MSMEs and non-state sector of the Belarusian economy. The growth of capital allowed the implementation of major projects across the country. Experience, qualified staff, reliable and reputable shareholders as well as trust of clients create good prerequisites for further progress. Belgazprombank constantly improves the quality of customer service in pursuing one of the main goals of its activity i.e. assisting in the formation of an effective middle class in the Republic of Belarus in a market economy.

Логотип компании