Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) Kyrylo Shevchenko has stated that the Ukrainian banking sector has demonstrated high resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The NBU governor expressed his opinion in a publication for the Atlantic Council, Ukrinform reports.
“The Ukrainian banking sector has never been so resilient,” Shevchenko said.
According to him, in terms of capital, liquidity, profitability, and technological innovation, “the Ukrainian banks have proven more than a match in recent months for the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic”.
“The brief outflow of deposits witnessed during the first weeks of quarantine conditions in March 2020 is now a distant memory. Instead, we are experiencing a period of rapid growth. At present, the annual growth rate for household deposits in domestic currency is 27%, while the rate for foreign currency accounts is 5%,” he said.
At the same time, according to the NBU governor, there was a decrease in interest rates on loans, which in the last two months of the summer 2020 period showed an increase in business loans by 2.2%, as well as a 3% increase in household loans.
“The current favorable conditions are providing Ukrainian businesses with access to more affordable loans. This is allowing them to cover short-term needs and finance large-scale projects,” Shevchenko noted.
He has added that the Ukrainian banking system is increasingly at the forefront of this global digital transformation. Since August 2020, we have launched our system of electronic payments (SEP) in 24/7 mode.
“This gives banks operating in Ukraine the opportunity to make payments to the recipient around the clock,” Shevchenko said.
Also, according to him, despite the difficulties currently facing the global economy, the Ukrainian government intends to proceed with privatization and meet its targets for the planned reduction of the state-owned stake in Ukraine’s banking market.
“We have already discussed plans for a smaller state presence in the Ukrainian banking sector with representatives of the London Stock Exchange. Our current strategy for the partial privatization of Ukraine’s state-owned banks envisages that steps towards sales will begin no later than by the end of 2024,” Shevchenko said.