3 min read 25 May 23
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Bank of Georgia is the second-largest bank in Georgia, providing retail banking, asset management and corporate financial services.
Bank of Georgia primarily makes a positive impact by promoting financial inclusion. The company offers banking services to retail and small business customers that were previously grossly underserved, with little banking infrastructure left after the end of communism. The company also provides affordable mortgages in an economy which has among the highest number of people per household in Europe, where young people have tended to live at home far into adulthood given financial constraints.
Bank of Georgia has also played a key role in making the Georgian economy more investible through its active engagement with the government, helping to drive improvements in areas such as ease of doing business and corruption perception. Now seen as a relatively stable Eastern European economy, Georgia has benefited from increased international investment, which may have previously been deployed elsewhere, since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. A stronger Georgian economy is beneficial for both Bank of Georgia and the wider population.
In the past year we have had several engagements with Bank of Georgia on the subject of impact data disclosures. We have asked the company to provide numbers around the underserved/unbanked people it has served, and how specifically it defines these communities. The company believes that the majority of its retail banking customers earn less than 1,000 lari per month, but agreed that it needs to improve visibility on this. The company is fully willing to develop KPIs and communicate these going forward. We asked for the data to be included within its annual sustainability reporting, and will follow up in due course.
During the meetings, the company also explained that it has grown its digital offering, making financial products available to a much wider population, particularly those in rural areas who are now able to integrate into the wider financial system. The bank is also aiding small businesses by providing a greater number of microloans, and offering mobile banking services, which allow companies to process transactions without buying more expensive point-of-sale systems. It has close to 1 million active digital users, where Bank of Georgia has played a pivotal role in expanding Georgia’s digital footprint.
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