Oleg Tinkov is : “Our philosophy is we are always in crisis”


Interview with Oleg Tinkov

— The crisis has passed, your Bank is estimated above, you again have a billion. What’s next?

— How the crisis has passed? Our philosophy is that we are always in crisis. In my opinion, this is a very short sighted view: today is the crisis — not a crisis tomorrow. We have such an approach in the organization that we have always a crisis. When we started ten years ago, in 2007, was a liquidity crisis. Then there was 2014, then crisis lending — we are in permanent crisis. I think no one else will. We are always ready for bad. We’re certainly glad that the market is now we appreciate better than it was valued two years ago, but I think this is not the limit.

— You also did not have any period when the Bank would be a loss. Have you always been profitable?

— The Bank launched in may 2007, then was released on the first card. It is exactly ten years ago. A year and a half we came to a profit, and since that time — 8.5 years — and earn that in a year, a year and a half, 18 months later, we went on a profit and on an annual basis, and quarterly. The only month when we lost the money — January 2014, when was the currency revaluation. All the while, we were earning. Our philosophy is to earn a lot of profit, raise capital, pay dividends to shareholders. We are here talking about profit. When we look at many of our fellow bankers: it is unclear how they exist, over the years, they lose money. Even some anniversaries are losing money.

— Now, looking back, can you tell what decisions were made from the one that allowed you to go through this crisis and not to drown?

— First, we have a good, stable team. And we seriously treat risk. Why do we feel good? Because in a crisis our risks relative to its competitors was nice enough, low. Because we do not belong to the portfolio. And we still grow, but grow efficiently. The problem of competitors — the retail bankers is that banks run by managers, and these managers are sharpened to receive bonuses. This is the fundamental problem of the banking system: owners who sit and do business, very little. Sovcombank — here’s a great example, where everything is impossible, because the owners do themselves. Oh and there is a small examples, you may be, the Bank “Saint Petersburg”, where the owner is also passionate about business. But basically everything was left to the mercy of the managers.

Managers are being, frankly, not very conscious. They issue a loan, get a bonus, and all of them well. Then come the bad times, and all this, I’m sorry, g, POPs up. They (banks. — ) and began to sink. And we are different, we have a stable team, management, remind, owns 6% of the Bank. They are motivated for the long term. If to speak briefly — we have organized properly the motivation for management to long — term, not short-term, this leads to the fact that we are better than we pass the crises.

— If to speak in General about the retail lending market, how do you think that retail banks have a future?

— The population is now less leveraged than in 2013, there was a de-leveraging over the past two years — people pay off loans, part blamed. The credit business is cyclical in nature. We know, looking at the Western markets that the cycle takes eight to ten years. We are at the beginning of a good cycle, I think the next five years nothing (bad. — ) will not. All retail banks are beginning to lend, they are now percredit, sacredity, and in five years, will again be the same. This is the normal cyclical nature of the business to which we are ready and aware. Another question that I would like my colleagues to responsibly to renditions, did not give large sums to anybody, we are here, for example, don’t swing that way. But it’s a rhetorical question, again. Shareholders require managers perform. Now again start giving away money. Then they lick their wounds. In this crisis, the Central Bank saved the retail monoliner, next, they’ll sink completely.

— By the way, you recently criticized the Central Bank, said that he is too tough. Not changed his point of view?

I can’t your point be changed every two weeks. I believe that the regulator has taken too rigid a position in relation to retail banks. I believe that private businesses must understand who it lends to and how it lends to. If we over the years have proven that they can lend to this segment — let us to lend, why are we to limit. Especially as this segment is, and if we do not lend, it will go into a microfinance institution. And not in the MFIs (microfinance institutions. — ) that we know and at the hearing. In the regions there are criminal MFIs, which MFIs only on paper, but in reality this is not a crime. And, by the way, all these scandals that we see and hear — with kollekshen so-called — generally banks do not apply. 90% of the high-profile controversial cases concerned MFIs. Again, this is not Moscow large MFIs, who knows everything, with assets of billions of rubles, and that the local semi-criminal organization. Then we have to ban probably MFIs.

— And you, too, MFIs have?

And we have MFI. We in the credit business, so we want to be present wherever there is credit business.

— You predict that next year you will earn 14 billion rubles On what you bet?

— Not next, this year. Next we want much more. We grow non-credit revenues from a low base, good growth, although they are still not comparable with the credit income. Our main business is credit cards, we are actively selling mortgage investment products. “Tinkoff-invest”, by the way, is already a profitable product, the mortgage is about to become profitable, and small and medium — sized business is our star, he’s flying, we have more than 100 thousand clients. We open at 20-22 thousand accounts per month. This is a very good Commission business, and he’s profitable already, and we’ll be there to earn. We believe that it is possible on the basis of “Tinkoff.ru” to build a large financial if you want a portal, an ecosystem, a financial supermarket, where you will find all financial products — our, our partners, and we will make good money.

Oleg Tinkov

Photo: Ekaterina Kuzmina /

— You see the future of your Bank?

— Probably, Yes. We go to different adjacent segments. Want to do wealth management for example. Despite the reduction of inflation reduced the refinancing rate and rates on deposits. When the interest on deposits was more than 10%, of course, about any investment market or state management could not be considered. I see that in the medium term, rates will be 4-5%, respectively, here opens a vast field for the asset management market, market capital management and we want to play a significant role. We believe that the market is quite empty, except for some brokerage firms, such as our partner BCS on investment, “Finam”, one, in fact, in this market there. We love to come to the market and do things differently. One of our ideas is to take a fair Commission, to be sufficiently transparent to market for our customers.

— And it will be for men or for millionaires?

— It is also, by the way, will be our competitive advantage, we will not be there minimum, from which we take money in the office, as all love — five million, for example. We now have six million active customers, and we all offer this product — it does not matter, minimum is. Short answer to your question — for all. VIP or private banking segment, we also are interested in we look at him and, probably, it will come, but it last. This segment is not very interested.

— Tell us about the ATMs. You had a model, which all admired, huge margins, lower costs, and there are ATMs.

Now they will be even more our model to admire. Our costs remain low, perhaps will be even lower. This year we will earn a lot of money — more than 40% returns on capital, and ATMs of the big role will not play. Even if we put a few thousand of ATMs, in the course of our business, and we have assets of $ 200 billion, it’s a penny. There is no special paradigm, we always follow client. Although some still exists. Ford said the car can be any color if it is black. We will open a banking office over my dead body. As long as I live, office will not.

But ATM — it’s different, it’s a robot, technology. We go over the client and make his life better and more attractive. We went to the segment of small and medium businesses, as there exist a number of requirements collection. We, of course, do not simple ATMs, and smart, if you want. They will be multi-currency, somaintexasii, there will be more to collect revenue, there can be remove the cache in different currencies. We see more negative reviews are from people who want to withdraw or Deposit large amounts of currency. Putting ATM machines in the best locations of the cities, we will give people access to the withdrawal and encashment of the currency. ATMs — this is no change of strategy, and a step towards our consumer.

— And if the consumer will require branches?

— If consumer demand secession, it would require, and this will all end.

— You started to let the card “the World”. As you do this project, what do you think about it?

— I believe that Russia deserves its payment system. We had a long time to do. As always, the fried cock has pecked into one place — done. Well, by the way, made quite accurately.

— What technologies are now critical to your business?

— It is critical for us education. I believe that in Russia the level of education gradually (gradually, that pleases) is reduced. We see less and less quality of graduates. Plus the demographic hole of the early 1990-ies. Few students, few graduates, and the average age of employees is 24 years old, we are very very much tied to the new students on the threads. I was very confused by the quality of education, and the number of students. We absolutely do not have enough technologists, developers, and just young, smart people who are changing the financial industry and move it forward. The technology itself is nothing. You can buy them, to buy, but people are very important.

— Do you want something to do, you have a habit of changing the world around them?

— Do. We just vintage in MIPT opened my Department, we’ve done our FINTECH-school in the Bank, it taught our senior managers and I sometimes. Well, we’re working on it.

— You recently admired the way, Herman Gref, Sberbank reformed. You how close it approaches?

— “Admire” — this is probably a strong term. I praised what he did, but no more. To reform such an organization and to earn half a trillion! We make 14 billion profit, and it — half a trillion. It’s hard not to talk positively about the organization. Despite the fact that there are banks of comparable scale, who earn significantly less. I think the result is obvious. So Yes, any mad reverence I have for him does not exist, but in General if we had more officials (because I still belong to the category of officials), which would have this level of knowledge, advancement and engagement, the country would different. I’m glad in a sense for our country that there is Gref.

— Are you planning any joint projects with Sberbank?

— No. They are too large, how they can cooperate? Sberbank is half of the Russian banking system, a priori we partner with them.

— You recently announced the intention to make a virtual operator. Have a story to tell?

— A virtual operator we start at the end of the year is likely — this is all while our virtual operator is sitting here [pointing to a small Cabinet]. We are few, but we vests. I’m doing this project now itself. We believe that the big three have a place to move that somehow our consumer is the same, of course, there is a convergence of our services, of course, the phone becomes the Bank, the Bank becomes the phone number of SMS that we send millions a day already. That is, our applications are similar, we see that the operators moved in our direction, especially MTS, and, of course, we can’t sit idly by. They believe that they will come to our glade is very easy and capture, I believe that it is not. They probably also believe that we are on their clearing will not easily go in and nothing grab. With this I also agree. But I believe that in the war of banks and telcos for the payments banks will win.

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