Alfa-Bank

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Alfa Bank JSC
TypeJoint stock company
IndustryBanking
Financial services
Investment services
Founded1990; 31 years ago (1990)
Headquarters
Moscow
,
Number of locations
486 offices[1]
ProductsConsumer banking
Corporate banking
Investment banking
Increase US$ 1.35 billion (2020)[1]
Total assetsIncrease US$ 61.85 billion (2020)[1]
Total equityIncrease US$ 8.67 billion (2020)[1]
OwnerMikhail Fridman, Pyotr Aven, German Khan
Number of employees
26,008 (2020)[1]
RatingBa2 (Moody's), BB+(S&P),[2] BBB- (Fitch) (2021)[3]
WebsiteAlfaBank.ru
Alfa-Bank advertising

ALFA-BANK JSC (Alfa-Bank),[4] is the largest of the private banks in Russia.[5] It was founded by Russian businessman Mikhail Fridman, who is still the controlling owner today. Headquartered in Moscow, it operates in seven countries, providing financial services to over 631,000 active corporate customers and 7.3 million active retail clients.[1] Alfa-Bank is particularly active in Russia and Ukraine, ranking among the top 10 largest banks in terms of capital in both countries.[6][7] In the 2009 edition of The Banker magazines's Top-1000 World Banks, Alfa-Bank was placed 270th.[8]

History[edit]

Timeline:[9][10]

1990s[edit]

2000s[edit]

  • 2000 – Alfa-Bank acquires a 76% stake in Kyivinvestbank (later renamed "Alfa-Bank"). The Banker and Global Finance magazine name Alfa-Bank "The Best Russian Bank". Alfa Securities, a broker and a subsidiary, opens in London.
  • 2001 – By the end of first quarter, loan portfolio reaches $1 billion; Alfa-Bank opens a subsidiary in New York City, Alfa Capital Markets, a NASD (now Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)) regulated company set up to provide brokerage and investment services in North and South America. Emerging Markets Investor and Global Finance name it "Best Bank in Russia". Alfa-Bank becomes 100 percent owner of Amsterdam Trade Bank N.V. and thereby acquires a full banking licence in the European Union.
  • 2002Gazprom and Alfa-Bank reach an agreement on strategic partnership. Together with Merrill Lynch, Alfa-Bank wins financial consulting contract from Unified Energy System. Fitch and S&P upgrade their credit rating on Alfa-Bank. Once again Global Finance magazine declares Alfa-Bank "The Best Russian Bank".
  • 2003Unaudited financial statements reveal record high growth in profits in 2002 (loan portfolio increased 70% to $1.4 billion, assets surged 51%, while net income rose by more than a third). Alfa-Bank, in partnership with the Lauder Institute of the Wharton School of Business, establishes a new award for "Excellence in Foreign Investment", which would be presented to foreign companies operating in Russia for weighty contribution to the corporate governance and successful business operations. Alfa-Bank draws $82 million unsecured syndicated loan, the biggest on record among private banks. S&P, Fitch, and Moody's upgrade Alfa-Bank's rating during the year.
  • 2004 – Alfa-Bank tops the list of financial consultants by deals value, completing $8.9 billion worth of transactions in 2003. Alfa-Bank's loan portfolio grows by 52% year-over-year, reaching $2.8 billion. It wins a $10 million defamation settlement against the Russian newspaper Kommersant, which had published an article on financial difficulties at the bank, which suffered a substantial run on deposits and contributed to a mini banking crisis over the summer.[11]
Alfa Bank branch in Odessa, Ukraine (2012)
  • 2006 – Alfa-Bank completes the country's first securitisation of diversified payment rights with a $350 million deal. Unaudited first quarter management International Financial Reporting Standards figures show total assets breaking the $10 billion mark for the first time in company's history.
  • 2007 – In connection with the closure of Sodbiznesbank in 2004, Alfa-Bank is searched by Russian police in September.[12] Fitch upgrades Alfa-Bank's rating.[13]
  • 2008 – Alfa-Bank seeks $400 million government loan in October.[14] It deploys 20,000 Aladdin eToken USB smartcard devices to its online customers.[15] The bank acquires Severnaya Kazna, a major regional bank operating in the Urals region.[16]
  • 2009 – Fitch downgrades Alfa-Bank's rating.[17]

2010s[edit]

  • 2010 – Alfa-Bank launches a $1 billion 7-year Eurobond.[18]
  • 2011 – Alfa-Bank seeks to buy Bank of Moscow,[19] but the sale goes to VTB Bank.
  • 2012 – In cooperation with Euroset, Alfa-Bank launches a loyalty-card credit programme.[20]
  • 2014 – Russian loyalty card program called "Alfa-Amway" was created when Amway joined with Alfa-Bank.[21]
  • 2016-2017 – it was reported in several media outlets that there had been activity between computer servers belonging to Alfa-Bank and the Trump Organization.[22][23] The FBI investigated the activity in the context of links between Trump associates and Russian officials and concluded that there were no such links[24] and that there might be "an innocuous explanation, like marketing email or spam".[25] This was later undercut in 2021. Through September 2021, U.S. government investigators had been unable to explain the activity, which a 2018 analysis showed "reasons to doubt that marketing emails were the cause". A Senate report called it "unusual activity".[26]
Alfa Bank branch in Moscow, Russia
  • 2017 – in March, Alfa-Bank was the target of Ukrainian protests.[27]
  • In July, BuzzFeed News publishes that, from December 2014 to the summer of 2017, numerous suspicious money transfers occurred among Paul Erickson's accounts including Wells Fargo Bank accounts, an undisclosed law firm, the NRA,[a] Jack Abramoff's son Alex and Jack's brother Robert company Landfair Capital Consulting, which was started in March 2017, and Maria Butina's Alfa-Bank account.[32] Investigators from Wells Fargo reported these suspicious money transfers to the United States Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and to the FBI.[32]
  • In December, Alfa-Bank's wholly owned Dutch subsidiary, Amsterdam Trade Bank, was raided in connection with an investigation into possible money laundering.[33][34]
  • 2019 - According to IFRS Results for 2019, Alfa-Bank's total comprehensive income amounted to $1.03 billion. The bank's total equity increased to $8.1 billion. At the same time, net profit was only $704 million, almost half of 2018 - due to a radical increase in allowances for loan loss provisions.[35]

Charity[edit]

Since 2004, Alfa-Bank has been assisting the "Life Line", a charity program for saving seriously-ill children. Alfa-Bank was the first company to organise a collection of private donations to the foundation.[36] Since September 2008, bank customers have the opportunity to transfer cash donations to help children with the help of the Alfa-Click Internet Bank or a conventional bank transfer without a bank commission.[37][38] The bank also cooperates with WWF,[39] supports most of the initiatives, and also invites its clients to provide financial support to the Fund.[40]

The bank operates volunteer organization "Give the good". The bank collects humanitarian aid for orphanages, boarding schools and social shelters, and also attracts employees as volunteers. Every year, the bank organizes charity events called "Children's Day", "Help me get ready for school", "Christmas miracle".[41]

Education[edit]

Since 1995, the bank has been implementing the "Alfa-Chance" student scholarship program, giving school graduates from various regions of Russia the opportunity to receive higher education at leading universities in the country. Since 2008, the Bank, in cooperation with HSE, has been implementing a program to provide nominal scholarships to first-year students from Russian regions (except Moscow and St. Petersburg), who won prizes at All-Russian School Olympiads and the HSE Multi-Profile Olympiad.[42] In total, the "Alfa-Chance" program involves about 17 institutions of higher education. The Bank is developing the Alfa Fellowship program, which enables young specialists from the United States, Great Britain and Germany to undergo an internship in Russia.[43]

Culture[edit]

Alfa-Bank actively works in cultural and educational activities primarily aimed at supporting national art. On 7 June 2000, the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and Alfa-Bank signed a cooperation agreement, under which the participants agreed to join efforts aimed at the implementation of joint cultural events and creative projects. Every year, with the support of a bank in Russia, exhibitions and concerts are held. In addition, Alfa-Bank participates in the organization of exhibitions and concerts of Russian cultural figures abroad. For example, on 18 February 2000, a concert of the Moscow Virtuosos Symphony Orchestra under the direction of maestro Vladimir Spivakov took place in London. It was the first performance of the band in London for 10 years. The presentation was sponsored by Alfa-Bank. Alfa-Bank, together with the Moscow Literary Fund, is implementing a scholarship support program for writers aimed at motivating authors to create new works of literature: prose, poetry, drama, translations, books for children.[44]

The bank is also one of the co-founders of the "Big Book" National Literary Award.

Alfa-Bank periodically sponsors or participates in organizing concerts of foreign stars in Russia. Among others, Bono(2010), Elton John (1995, 2001 and 2007), Aerosmith (2007), Sting (1996, 2001 and 2006), Whitney Houston (2004), Paul McCartney (2003 and 2004). However, some of the invited singers perform in Russia for the first time.[45][46][47][48] Alfa-Bank organizes an electronic music and technology festival Alfa Future People. The headliners are the "stars" of the world electronic scene, such as Paul Oakenfold, Avicii, Skrillex, Pompeya, Tesla Boy, Infected Mushroom, and others.[49][50]

In July 2014, Alfa-Bank announced the launch of the social project "City Tours with Alpha". The Bank provides financial and organizational support to the best museums and a tour desks, supporting the development of city tours.[51]

In early 2021, Alfa-Bank hired the well-known rapper Morgenshtern as a "youth director". This was preceded by the appearance of a scandalous video in which the Federal Antimonopoly Service found violations of the law on advertising. The singer's task is to attract 100 thousand young new clients. Some experts see this venture as a reputational risk.[52] After an administrative case was initiated against Morgenshtern in April 2021 for drug propaganda, Alfa-Bank disavowed previous messages and called them an "advertising stunt".[53]

Technology[edit]

  • Alfa-Bank, jointly with MasterCard, has launched the production of AlfaPay wristwatches with an integrated debit bank card based on PayPass technology. To pay for purchases, one doea not need to enter a PIN code or sign. The card shows its number and CVC-code to pay for online purchases.[54]
  • Alfa-Bank developed the Alfa-Touch app. It allows you to create a non-personalized card for one year and pay for purchases using the PayPass system.[55]
  • Since December 2015, contactless ATMs have begun work in the bank branches. Installation of such ATMs was aimed primarily at improving security when working with an ATM (the inability to read the magnetic strip data by the fraudsters), and secondly, it is speeding up the process of interaction with the device.[56]
  • Alfa-Bank together with the manufacturer of prostheses "Motorika" developed bioelectric prostheses with a special mount for a card with the function of contactless payment PayPass. This development is aimed at reducing inconveniences for people with disabilities when paying. Prostheses have a special compartment for "minitag". To pay for a product or service, it is sufficient to bring the prosthesis to the terminal and confirm the operation with a PIN code in case the check exceeds 1000 rubles. In addition, this prosthesis works with other devices equipped with contactless card readers.[57]
  • At the end of 2016, Alfa-Bank's A-Club Private Banking topped the "Best Russian Bank for Millionaires" rating, compiled by Forbes, among Russian banks without state participation and was ranked 4th position.[58]

Protection of business reputation[edit]

On 21 January 2014, Alfa-Bank and Mikhail Fridman filed a lawsuit for the protection of business reputation against the chairman of the Yabloko Party, Sergei Mitrokhin, the editorial staff of the Izvestia newspaper and the correspondent of this newspaper. They considered that the statements made by Mitrokhin and Izvestia newspaper that "Aleksei Navalny fulfills the political order of the Alfa Group" do not correspond to reality and discredit their business reputation.[59] But in the end, the court refused to satisfy the company's claim against Mitrokhin.[60]

Jones Day[edit]

In the United States, the Jones Day law firm represents numerous Russian entities including Alfa-Bank and Alfa Group.[31]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The NRA reported spending a record $54,398,558 to support Republicans ($17 million) and oppose Democrats ($37 million) during the 2016 United States elections with $30 million directly supporting Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign; however, FBI and other organizations' investigations including the NSA, the CIA, the DNI, the DOJ, and the Treasury Department's FinCen, which began in the spring of 2016 and later led to Crossfire Hurricane, James Clapper's, Michael Rogers's, and James Comey's January 2017 DNI findings, Mueller's special investigations and Senate Intelligence Committee investigations, revealed that the NRA spent at least $70 million or more.[28][29][30] Jones Day is the law firm that represents the NRA and also Pyotr Aven's Alfa-Bank and Mikhail Fridman's Alfa Group.[29][31]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Annual Report 2020" (PDF). Alfa-Bank. Retrieved 16 September 2021.
  2. ^ "Credit Ratings - 2017". alfabank.com. 21 March 2018. Archived from the original on 21 March 2018. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  3. ^ "Fitch повысило Альфа-Банку рейтинг до «ВВВ-»" (in Russian). banki.ru. 1 April 2021.
  4. ^ "Central Bank of Russia", cbr.ru, retrieved 7 October 2021
  5. ^ "Top Banks in Russia - Overview and Guide to Top 10 Russian Banks". Corporate Finance Institute.
  6. ^ "Russia: top 10 largest banks, by total assets 2020". statista.com.
  7. ^ Merge and Acquire, The Ukrainian Week (9 October 2015)
  8. ^ "Top-1000 World Banks by The Banker magazine". Venchur.ru. Russian Venture Investment Center. 5 July 2010. Archived from the original on 21 March 2017. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  9. ^ "Bank's History" (in Russian). Alfa-Bank. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
  10. ^ Bank, Alfa (31 December 1998). "Alfa-Bank Annual Report 1998" (PDF). alfabank.com. Alfa-Bank. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 July 2011. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
  11. ^ Jack, Andrew (20 October 2004). "Russian newspaper faces $10m bill for defamation". Financial Times. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  12. ^ Hannah Gardner and Torrey Clark (6 September 2007). "Russian Police Search Alfa Bank, Seize Documents (Update2)". Bloomberg L.P. Archived from the original on 28 April 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  13. ^ "Fitch Upgrades Russia's Alfa Bank to 'BB'; Outlook Stable". CbondS Financial Information. 11 December 2007. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  14. ^ Vasilyeva, Nataliya (31 October 2008). "Russia's Alfa Bank asks $400 million from state". USA Today. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  15. ^ "Russian Bank Secures Online Banking With Aladdin Authentication". IT Business Net. 15 December 2008. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 November 2012. Retrieved 17 December 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Severnaya Kazna integration
  17. ^ "Fitch Downgrades Russia's MDM and Alfa; Other Banks on Negative Outlook". CbondS Financial Information. 27 March 2009. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  18. ^ "Russia Alfa Bank launches $1 bln Eurobond-sources". Reuters. 17 September 2010. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  19. ^ "Alfa Bank Eyes Bank of Moscow Stake – report". Reuters. 24 January 2011. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  20. ^ "Euroset, Alfa Bank Launch Loyalty Card Credit Programme". Telecom Paper. 14 March 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  21. ^ Dexter Filkins (15 October 2018). "Was There a Connection Between a Russian Bank and the Trump Campaign? A team of computer scientists sifted through records of unusual Web traffic in search of answers". NewYorker.com. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  22. ^ Foer, Franklin (31 October 2016). "Was a Trump Server Communicating With Russia?". Slate. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  23. ^ Bertrand, Natasha (10 March 2017). "The FBI is reportedly examining why a Russian bank with ties to Putin wanted to reach the Trump Organization during the campaign". Business Insider. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  24. ^ "Review of Four FISA Applications and Other Aspects of the FBI's Crossfire Hurricane Investigation" (PDF). Office of the Inspector General U.S. Department of Justice. p. 119. Retrieved 4 June 2021.
  25. ^ Lichtblau, Eric; Myers, Steven Lee (31 October 2016). "Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link to Russia". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 October 2021.
  26. ^ Savage, Charlie; Goldman, Adam (30 September 2021). "Trump Server Mystery Produces Fresh Conflict" – via NYTimes.com.
  27. ^ Protesters in Kyiv Target Russian Bank And Oligarch Office on YouTube Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
  28. ^ Stone, Peter; Gordon, Greg (24 January 2017). "FBI, 5 other agencies probe possible covert Kremlin aid to Trump". McClatchy. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  29. ^ a b Stone, Peter; Gordon, Greg (18 January 2018). "FBI investigating whether Russian money went to NRA to help Trump". McClatchy. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  30. ^ "National Rifle Assn". OpenSecrects.org. 8 April 2021. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  31. ^ a b Unger 2018, pp. 216–7.
  32. ^ a b Leopold, Jason; Cormier, Anthony (31 July 2018). "Here Is The Money Trail From The Russian "Agent" And Her Republican Partner: Federal investigators say some of the money went to Maria Butina's campaign to help Russia infiltrate American politics". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  33. ^ "Dutch subsidiary of Russia's Alfa-Bank raided in money laundering investigation". Reuters. 12 December 2017. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  34. ^ Pieters, Janene (21 March 2017). "Dutch Banks Accused of Aiding Russian Money Laundering Scheme". NLTimes.nl. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  35. ^ Литова, Екатерина (20 February 2020). "Чистая прибыль группы Альфа-банка упала впервые за пять лет". Ведомости.
  36. ^ "Альфа-Банк и "Линия жизни" запустили первую в России корпоративную карту для участия в благотворительности". Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  37. ^ "Альфа-Банк получил награду за активное участие в программе "Линия жизни"". // life-line.ru. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
  38. ^ "Программа спасения тяжелобольных детей "Линия жизни"". // alfabank.ru. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
  39. ^ "Карта Хранителя Земли". Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  40. ^ "WWF – спасение тигров". // alfabank.ru. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  41. ^ "14 лучших акций бизнеса в #ЩедрыйВторник". Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  42. ^ "Стипендия Альфа-Шанс". Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  43. ^ "Стратегия Умного Роста" (PDF). Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  44. ^ "Альфа-Банк помогает писателям". Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  45. ^ "Альфа-Банк привез в Москву U2". // finparty.ru. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
  46. ^ "Альфа-Банк представляет концерты группы Aerosmith в Москве и Петербурге". // bankinform.ru. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
  47. ^ "Группа Jamiroquai впервые даст концерт в Москве". // vz.ru. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
  48. ^ "Уитни Хьюстон даст два концерта в Москве". // newsru.com. 17 December 2003. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
  49. ^ "Самая большая сцена в Европе будет построена в Нижнем Новгороде для фестиваля Alfa Future People". // nn.rbc.ru. Archived from the original on 9 June 2014. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
  50. ^ ""В России мне никогда не бывает скучно"". // kommersant.ru. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
  51. ^ ""Городские экскурсии с «Альфой": новый социальный проект представил Альфа-Банк". Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  52. ^ "Рэп в руководство" (in Russian). versia.ru. 19 March 2021.
  53. ^ "Альфа-банк отказался считать Моргенштерна своим сотрудником" (in Russian). RBC. 17 April 2021.
  54. ^ ""Альфа-Банк" выпустил часы со встроенной банковской картой стоимостью 5 тысяч рублей". Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  55. ^ ""Альфа-банк" создал приложение для использования смартфона вместо кошелька". Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  56. ^ "Контакт не нужен". Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  57. ^ ""Альфа-банк" представил протез с возможностью бесконтактной оплаты". Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  58. ^ "А-Клуб Private Banking". Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  59. ^ Альфа-банк и Михаил Фридман предъявили Митрохину иск о защите деловой репутации Ведомости
  60. ^ Михайлова, Анастасия (26 August 2014). "Альфа-банк проиграл суд Митрохину по делу о финансировании Навального". РБК.

External links[edit]