The level of penetration of banking services in Azerbaijan is still not high. The share of bank assets in the total GDP is about 25 percent, PASHA Bank board chairman Farid Akhundov said in an interview published in Azernews newspaper today.
"This is very low, even compared to economically less developed countries," he said. "This is a very significant problem, which is related to various reasons like preferences to cash payments over bank circulation."
"A large-scale state program must be realized to circulate money turnovers within the banking system and to achieve greater penetration of banking services," he said. "The essence of such a program could be inducements by the tax authorities or the full tax exemptions, introduction of various benefits. It is necessary to ensure that entrepreneurs do not feel a difference between conducting their deals through banking services and by cash turnover. There is a complex solution to this problem, involving not only of the financial system but the state bodies as well. The banking sector is ready to work with government agencies to achieve an increase in turnover and the level of bank penetration in Azerbaijan."
PASHA Bank is ready to participate directly in the processes that one way or another affect the positive development of the sector, and to come up with certain ideas - whether it is various local events or "roundtables" with the participation of experts, he said.
"In addition, we try to draw the attention of the world's economic elite to our country, and it turns out very well," he said. "Thus, in April, together with The Economist Group, we held an international forum in Baku - Buttonwood Breakfast: Global Economics. The main objective of the forum was to mull prospects of development for the world economy and hold discussions between experts and 35 investors and managers of regional business organizations (BP, Chevron, Societe Generale, Commerz Bank, Ernst & Young, etc.) over possibility of realization of a number of economic scenarios and their potential impact."