Attracting foreign investments for the development of innovative digital banking and the private banking sector
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and TBC Bank Group PLC invested additional capital in TBC Bank Uzbekistan (TBC UZ) totaling US $ 35,1 million. TBC Bank Uzbekistan is a subsidiary of TBC Bank Group PLC, the holding company of the leading banking group in Georgia, TBC Bank JSC. TBC Bank Group PLC is registered in England and Wales, and its shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange.
This capital increase is part of multi-year financing plan under the investment agreement signed on September 30, 2021, between TBC UZ, TBC Bank Group PLC, the EBRD and IFC, when the two institutional investors (the EBRD and IFC) acquired stakes of 20 percent each in TBC UZ.
The initial investment was up to US $18.8 million (US $9.4 million each for the EBRD and IFC). At the same time, TBC Bank Group PLC invested US $25,9 million.
As part of this the second round of financing, the EBRD and IFC invested US $7 million each, and TBC Bank Group PLC – US $21.1 million. Altogether, the investments in TBC UZ totaled US $79,8 million. According to the investment agreement, further capital increases are also planned for 2023 and 2024.
In the two years following its launch, TBC Bank Uzbekistan has delivered on its significant growth ambitions. The bank received its license in April 2020 and started operations in October 2020, using an innovative fintech platform of TBC Group, Space, which offers retail banking solutions through a mobile application. By July 2022, over 2.4 million people had downloaded the TBC UZ app. Today, it operates in 10 new-generation showrooms in nine cities around Uzbekistan and at 33 “customer activation points” across the country.
TBC Bank Uzbekistan provides a digital customer experience for retail users and offers online services including money transfers, loans, car loans, deposits, installments, bank cards and bill payments. All services are available through the TBC UZ app.
The investments of EBRD, IFC and TBC Bank Group PLC will further boost the operational growth of this already established private market player and promote international standards of corporate governance in the banking sector, as well as contribute to strengthening digital finance in Uzbekistan.
Spartak Tetrashvili, Chairman of the Management Board of TBC Bank Uzbekistan, commented: “We very much hope that these investments will contribute not only to the development of our bank, but also to the digitalization of the country as a whole. We are convinced that our example is helping to make Uzbekistan more and more attractive to international investors. The reforms carried out by the Central Bank of Uzbekistan play an important role in this. The new opportunities and capital investments will help us further improve the customer experience and provide innovative digital services for our users.”
Cassandra Colbert, IFC Senior Manager, Central Asia, said: “IFC is glad to further deepen our partnership with TBC Bank Uzbekistan and support the expansion of its banking services, particularly those based on technological innovations. This investment is well-aligned with our strategy to help Uzbekistan build a vibrant, efficient, and well-capitalized private banking sector.”
Alkis Vryenios Drakinos, EBRD Head of Uzbekistan, said: “We are pleased to continue our support for TBC Bank Uzbekistan, a digital bank with a brief operational history to date but significant achievements in reaching a large number of retail customers across the country. The planned capital injection will sustain its ambitious growth strategy and enable TBC UZ to reach new milestones including the expansion of financial services to micro and small businesses in Uzbekistan.”