QNB Finansbank, the Turkish subsidiary of Qatar National Bank (Q.P.S.C.), the largest financial institution in the Middle East and Africa, was named the Best Bank for SMEs in the Central and Eastern Europe in “2020 Awards for Excellence” by Euromoney magazine.
QNB Finansbank was chosen for the award by one of the world’s most prominent and prestigious financial institutions and publishing groups, Euromoney, thanks to the bank’s financial and digital solutions for SMEs, and the Digital Bridge Project, as well as loan support packages aimed at the real sector throughout COVID-19.
Commenting on the achievement, QNB Finansbank’s Executive Vice President for Retail Banking and SME Banking, Erkin Aydın, emphasized that QNB Finansbank has substantially contributed to its SME customers through exclusive solutions. Aydın said: “We have provided our customers with foresighted risk management and proactive support through physical and digital channels; which entitled us to be win this year’s Euromoney award for the Best Bank for SMEs in the Central and Eastern Europe.”
A distinct banking model customized for SMEs
Aydın underscored how QNB Finansbank has also been the first bank to integrate SMEs into the retail-based banking model as follows: “We have created a separate financial modeling system for SMEs. We have divided SMEs into two segments as micro, small and medium- sized businesses. We have also developed dedicated services models for Turkey’s agriculture and tourism industries.”
Aydın mentioned technology as another factor behind QNB Finansbank’s success in SME banking: “While most banks in Turkey serve SMEs through their branches, QNB Finansbank presented a customer-friendly model that combine both the physical branch and the digital channels. In addition to the bank’s existing SME Cloud Unit, a new service called Digital Bridge was included in this model. Launched in the last autumn, the model facilitates digital transformation of small-scale businesses by providing them with by-products such as accounting, billing and Human Resources solutions. We act as a bridge for our SME customers so that they can benefit from unique digital opportunities.”
Support during COVID-19 process
QNB Finansbank continued to proactively support SMEs since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, giving its customers the opportunity to unconditionally postpone their loan repayments for three months. Aydın concluded: “Furthermore, we provided the option of extending this period for another 3 months when necessary. One fourth of the bank’s SME customers have benefited from this opportunity. This way, we helped our customers to overcome their cash flow troubles.”